Early morning for me yesterday, as i took up the chance to visit another branch of the Imperial War Museum.
As a Member of the Volunteer Team at IWM North, I’d been to Duxford, and Headquarters in London…but yesterday gave me the opportunity to visit a branch of the museum i hadnt been to, HMS Belfast, Anchored on a branch of the River Thames.
Walking around the sections of the boat, we got to see everything from Navigation to how sailors slept on board and a view of the engine room…the heart of the ship that made it move through the water, we were also given a little bit of the boats history and its role in world war two, escorting civilian ships against attack during the Arctic Convoy Missions
We were given a full tour of the cruiser by one of the Yeoman of the Ship, before being given a lunch in the galley and opportunity to explore for ourselves.
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.
Hail those ladies of great accord
who took on the mighty scots pine
the ones who were taught to handle great saws
and felled the woods in line
They strained with logs
to create the planks
and soldiers they all
gave their thanks
As the timber corps
strained their backs
moving the woods
for the soldiers shacksThey put in the hours, for a simple meal
the common goal, a worthy appeal
every worker, working like horse
all to aid the war time cause
And one and all
did not complain
to lessen the strain
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 ?
Location : The summit complex, Great Orme country park, Llandudno, North Wales
“If you can find them…and no-one else can help….maybe you can hire – THE A-TEAM”
A fateful but most enjoyable trip to a tall point of North wales
Enjoy the view – i walked up a very tall hill to get to it 🙂
A bit like the fellow who walked up a hill and came down a mountain 🙂
The funny thing is Me, Bill, Nigel and Joe weren’t even supposed to be here – we headed off from our meeting point at Imperial War Museum North and somehow we missed our junction for the M6 and Buxton (our intended destination). So we Headed for the M56 North Wales road instead, with all the delights that the country parks of wales could offer.
(I’m smiling about it now…..)
Walking up the Great Orme, led us to the Summit Complex, with Educational facilities, Museum, Hotel and restaurant. Our reward for reaching the summit ? A really nice Lunch plate of Fish and Chips in the restaurant.
There was a plaque dedicated to the forces who served at Great Orme when the Cafe was a Royal Air Force Radar Station, defending the nation against Nazi air attack in World war II – All four of us volunteer at Imperial War Museum North in Manchester – so i guess it was fate that we’d eventually end up somewhere with a connection to the armed forces…
Inside the Visitor centre – there was a display of the Great Orme Landscape, its terrain – and the sea birds that reside there.
Being indoors in the restaurant – Our Lunches were safe from these regular visitors 🙂