Giant plane sculpture raises money and cements friendships


Students from Rowan, the Cambridge arts charity for people with learning disabilities, have constructed a giant aeroplane at Marshall Group. The plane is made from cardboard and is so large that it was transported from Rowan in parts, by Marshall, and assembled at Cambridge Airport.

Once constructed, the plane was over 4.5m long with a 4.5m wingspan. Visitors to Marshall’s Family and Friends Open Day on 29th June were invited, for a donation, to help decorate the plane. The event was part of Marshall’s 105th birthday celebrations and also coincides with Rowan’s 30th anniversary year. As well as housing the giant plane, Marshall also provided Rowan with space to display stunning wood and ceramic creations that the students have helped to produce.  

Des Trollip, Director of Operations at Rowan, said: “We have been working on the sections of the plane for some time and were really looking forward to it being transformed into a beautiful sculpture. This was a great opportunity to not only display some of our art but also to tell people more about the important work that takes place at Rowan and to celebrate our partnership with Marshall.”

Rowan and Marshall have been working together over the past year and a half, since they both participated in The Prince’s Seeing is Believing project. Students from Rowan have enjoyed a behind-the-scenes visit to Cambridge Airport and various departments in the Marshall Group have helped Rowan to source advice and materials. Indeed, Marshall was instrumental in the acquisition of a new minibus for Rowan in March this year.


About Rowan

Rowan provides opportunities for learning-disabled people to be creative by working alongside trained artists and crafts-people in the charity’s Humberstone Road workshop studios.


About Marshall Group

Founded in 1909 with little capital as a chauffeur drive company in Cambridge, Marshall moved into the retail motor business in 1910, obtained the Austin Distributorship for Cambridgeshire in 1920 and entered the aviation business in 1929.  With all its growth funded by ploughed-back profits, the Marshall Group remains a privately owned family Company, with a turnover of £1.5bn per annum.  The Group of Companies is chaired by the third generation of the Marshall family, and employs members of the fourth generation.  The Group currently employs just over 4,000 people working in the fields of aerospace engineering; design and manufacture of specialist vehicle applications, military mobility shelters and hospital surgical units; motor vehicle sales and after sales support; refrigerated transport sales and support; and property ownership and management.


For further information, please contact:

Tania Stafford

Phillips Profile PR

07545 413442

01223 846955






Founded in 1909, the Marshall Group has a turnover of £2.5bn and over 5,700 employees. Headquartered on a 900-acre site in Cambridge, Marshall has three principal arms to the business: Aerospace and Defence; Property; and Ventures.

Marshall Group