IT’S HARD LABOUR FOR MUSEUM VOLUNTEERS
PRESS RELEASE ISSUED ON BEHALF OF THE DE HAVILLAND AIRCRAFT MUSEUM, HOME OF THE MOSQUITO AIRCRAFT MUSEUM
Date: March 11th, 2016
AIRCRAFT restoration volunteers have been putting in Herculean efforts to ensure that their museum was not only ready to open to the public on Sunday 6th March but was also totally reorganised for construction work to start on the foundations of a big new hangar.
In the space of just two months the de Havilland Aircraft Museum at Salisbury Hall, London Colney, has had a large temporary hangar erected on a new extension to the site and many of its historic aeroplanes moved to new positions.
“It has been an absolutely fantastic achievement by our volunteers,” said the museum’s new hangar project director Bill Maris.
“To get the museum ready on time to open its gates to the public has seen our volunteers working here six and even seven days a week.”
For Pete Widdicombe, volunteer team leader for the museum’s site team, it has meant laying new concrete pathways and hard standings for the repositioned aircraft, which include a DH Heron, Vampire, Sea Vixen, Chipmunk, Tiger Moth, Horsa troop-carrying glider, Cierva Autogyro, Comet jet airliner, BAE146 and 125 Business Jet.
“The volunteers have put in a huge effort to make sure everything is ready,” said Mr Widdicombe. “It has been a lot of hard work that has been done. The museum is now looking forward to another successful season, and this year for the first time we are opening for an extra day, Fridays, as well as our normal Tuesdays, Thursdays weekends and bank holiday weekends.”
Hundreds of yards of Astroturf have been rolled out to cover the floor of the new marquee and create grass-like walkways.
A small hangar erected when the museum opened in 1959 as home to its founding aircraft, the de Havilland DH98 Mosquito prototype, is to be dismantled to make way for the new hangar. Groundworks are expected to start on March 14th.
More of the museum’s aircraft will be open for visitors to step inside. These will include the Dove, Sea Vixen, Vampire, Trident, Comet simulator and for the first time since it stopped flying in 1954, the DH Comet, the world’s first jet airliner. This aircraft designed and built by de Havilland at its Hatfield factory, is the only one left of the original 1952 production batch still with its original square windows. It is currently undergoing extensive refurbishment.
For more information visit www.dehavillandmuseum.co.uk
Contact for more information: Peter Jeffery, Public Relations Manager, 0775 987 9966