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Princes Mead

Welcome to Princes Mead Shopping Centre

A shopping experience right at the heart of aviation history and innovation.

At Princes Mead, we have everything to complete your shopping experience, top to toe, from the latest haircuts to high fashion shoes. The whole family is covered under our roof, with something for every occasion and lots of regular promotions and events.

Scout Experimental – SE5A 1917-1918 Single Seater Fighter

The SE5A was the first aircraft made by the Royal Aircraft Establishment in Farnborough as a true factory aircraft.  Its contemporaries, such as the Sopwith Camel and Sopwith Pup, were made by a variety of craftsmen in several locations, whereas the SE5A was a complex aircraft with a multitude of forgings and castings that could only be made under the strict control of a sophisticated modern factory.

The aircraft depicted in this full size replica represents that flown by the leading British Ace of World War 1, namely Edward (Mick) Mannock VC, DSO and Two Bars, MC and Bar.  The aircraft bears the markings of 74 (Tiger) Squadron, i.e. the white long stripe behind the letter ‘A’, which signifies that Mick was the Leader of ‘A’ Flight.  The colour on the replica is lighter and greener than the original RFC Green or ‘PC 10’ which was more olive green/brown.

The aircraft is designated D 276 on the tail rudder, as was the original aircraft flown by Mick when 74 Squadron flew to France from London Colney airfield near St Albans in Hertfordshire on 30th March 1918.

Mick Mannock was Irish, born on 24th May 1887.  He was 5’10” tall, gangling, blue eyed with a boyish humour.  His background was one of poverty and he suffered from early astigmatism in his left eye, yet he fooled the RFC medical board and went on to shoot down 73 enemy aircraft.

At the age of 31, Mannock was in command of 85 Squadron holding the rank of Major.  Haggard and tense from his time in battle, he was shot down by a storm of machine gun fire from German ground troops on Friday 26th July 1918 at Lestremme, 20 miles east of St Omer.  Typically he was taking out a young New Zealander, Donald Inglis, to get him his first victory and had achieved it for Donald when he broke his own rules by following an enemy too low to the ground.  The aircraft burst into flames, but no one will ever know whether Mannock used the gun he specifically carried to shoot himself at that instant, for the allies never found the wreckage of his plane.

Mick was a caring man and took more trouble to protect his pilots than to clock up combat victories, although his compassion did not extend to his country’s enemies and he was absolutely cold and calculating when it came to this aspect of his career.  He was much loved by his fellow pilots, so much so that two of them wrote books about him.  No other pilot in any war has ever been so venerated.  Sadly his sacrifice was forgotten when the war was over and only dogged persistence by his pilots, and the action of Winston Churchill, resulted in the posthumous award of the Victoria Cross in 1919.

Calendar Club

now open!

Calendar Club are back with e great selection of Calendars, Diaries and Gifts - call into the new store for an early bird look!


exciting vacancies!

Supercuts are looking for a talented Manager/Stylist to join the team and there's an extra position for someone already studying hairdressing but who would like to be working too!

Contact the store on 375947 to find out more information and to have a chat!

Opening Hours

9am – 5.30pm 
Monday to Saturday

10am – 4pm 
Sundays & Bank Holidays

Easter Day, Christmas Day and New Year's Day


Find Us

Contact Details

Centre Management
Princes Mead Shopping Centre
Farnborough Hampshire
GU14 6YA

T: 01252 375520
F: 01252 522045