A RELIC from the golden era of Southend Airport will return to the city “in two weeks” but is set to be stored outside as efforts continue to find it a permanent home.

Marc Willmott, from Hadleigh, managed to secure the last surviving Carvair cockpit that had been left on a Suffolk industrial estate for more than a decade.

Carvair was a Douglas DC-4-based air ferry with a capacity of about 22 passengers in a rear cabin, and five cars loaded in at the front.

It was used at Southend Airport when a service between Southend and Calais was launched in 1954.

A fundraising campaign raised £3,000 to bring it to Southend, but Mr Willmott is yet to secure a permanent home for when it returns in two weeks’ time.

Work is underway to make it as “weather-proof as possible” as Mr Willmott, 62, pushes for it to go on display. Speaking to BBC Essex, he said: “I spoke to the owner yesterday and have secured the cockpit.

“We’re now just in the process of finalising the date with the transport company, but in two weeks’ time it should be back where it belongs.

“My initial thought was ‘Let’s get a hold of it, and we will decide what to do with it.

“Unfortunately, right now it’s going to be stored outside, and we need to make it as weather-proof as we can.

“But the immediate plan is to store it locally just to save it, and then we’re going to sit down and discuss what we’re going to do from there.”

He jokingly said he had considered putting it in his garden but said he does not think his wife is “too keen” on that idea.

In total, 21 jets were produced in the UK, with operation of aircraft 1, 11 and 21 at the south Essex transport hub.

A scene from the 1964 Bond movie Goldfinger involving a Carvair was also filmed at Southend Airport.

Carvair was known for transporting famous names in the 20th century, including action film hardman Robert Mitchum.