An early morning start at IWM North on Monday, as we met up with fellow volunteers and staff from the other branches at IWM Duxford for Volunteers week.
We travelled south through the Midlands on our journey, stopping off on some familiar services on the M6 and M1… the route usually adopted when I visit my relatives there. It was a bit rainy on the way there, but I was looking forward to visiting Duxford. Due to that branch holding most of the museums Aircraft Collection
We arrived at Duxford’s Entrance around about noon, and then after a short repast, we all entered the main hall, where the chairman of the imperial war museum welcomed us all and the ceremonies for the volunteer awards commenced.
I received my award for “Developing in a Role” from the chairman – and heard my Vollie Manager deliver a wonderful (more than a ) few words on why i’d won it!
How I started as a guide, then doing object handling and family history….
I did whisper at one point….”Ta boss! you can stop now….!!!” (sic)
After the awards ceremony, we took a look around the hangar and the various activities on display, this included seeing how concorde dipped its nose, to sending messages by morse code – to walking on board a Lancaster bomber. I enjoyed walking round the RAF Fleet, and got a really good view of the planes from the top deck of the gallery.
Location : Imperial War Museum North, Old Trafford, Manchester
Destination : RAF Museum, Cosford, Shropshire
Having done the Great Orme (see here) Bill Nigel and me meet up for a trip to the Royal Air Force Museum in Cosford, Shropshire.
Travelling down the M6 from Manchester and then the M42 we reached our destination, despite queues and roadworks.
Upon arriving at RAF Cosford, we enjoy a bite to eat in the form of soup and a roll in the café. I had the Tomato (V.Nice!)
Then we hit the Galleries. Each hangar told the tale of planes that flew in the first and second world wars, as well as some of the individuals that took part in their operation. A mini timeline, similar to that of IWM North’s Main exhibition space (only a lot smaller) told the history of the RAF from its earliest time as the Royal Flying Corps all the way to the role played in more recent conflict in the Middle east.
I particularly enjoyed the Test flight Gallery. This explained the developmental process behind Planes like the Spitfire and the Harrier Jump Jet .
War in the Air had both Allied and German Planes on display as we read how they came to be, and their roles in the Battle of Britain and beyond. I’m pleased to say I saw a Supermarine Spitfire up close whilst walking round the exhibit, and the one I saw was the oldest surviving model in the world
All planes have to have something to make them tick – and Cosford’s collection delves deep into many of the engines that got them going.
I also viewed the artillery used by the RAF Regiment – The Air force soldiers who are assigned to protect the airfields.
It was a most enjoyable day – a pin, bookmark and mug – as well as my photos will remind me of viewing some great pieces of aviation history….just need to get the photos off the camera now 🙂
Something for Historical scholars to spot – my pic shows a statue of Lenin in the distance – but can you spot the other Russian leaders in this pic ?
Hey! Over Here! Yeah, man its me!
I’m hiding, in plain sight, out here in the sea.
A product of Her Majesty’s Royal Navy
(but one you can’t spot – on that we’ll agree)
I’ll hide to protect you,
by day or by night.
With my dazzling colours i’ll avoid a fight.
Coloured like sea, so when the sun is so bright
the enemy spotters wont see me right.
And up on my decks, observe the ranks –
Jungle coloured RVs and Desert coloured Tanks
Hiding away, and really hard to see
Ready for missions against the enemy.
But its not just us hiding – take a look in the air,
and catch a glimpse of our flying friends if you care.
You may catch a sight of their trails in the sky,
but by the time you have noticed – they’ve passed you by.
So all keep your eyes peeled,
and don’t let them veer
One Minute I’ll be there,
Then the next – Disappear!