de Havilland Aircraft Museum to open longer in 2018

PUBLISHED: 08:00 09 January 2018 | UPDATED: 15:55 18 January 2018

The prototype de Havilland DH98 Mosquito W4050, designed at the company's satellite design office at Salisbury Hall and built in an adjoining unit in 1940. It is one of three Mosquitos on display at the museum along with almost a score of other iconic DH aircraft. [Picture: DHAM]

The prototype de Havilland DH98 Mosquito W4050, designed at the company's satellite design office at Salisbury Hall and built in an adjoining unit in 1940. It is one of three Mosquitos on display at the museum along with almost a score of other iconic DH aircraft. [Picture: DHAM]

De Havilland Aircraft Museum

An aircraft museum preserving the de Havilland legacy will be open for longer this coming visitor season.

The de Havilland Aircraft Museum in Hertfordshire will be open more often than ever before in 2018.

The museum, at Salisbury Hall, London Colney, will for the first time open earlier in the year, opting for Sunday, February 11 to include the school half-term holiday.

With the decision to extend the season by a further week, closing on Sunday, November 4, it will now admit visitors for a total of 38 weeks – an extra three weeks – and 228 days, up from 193 days last year.

Enthusiasts will also be able to visit six days a week – up from five last year – adding up to a total of 228 opening days, compared to 193 last year, making 2018 the museum’s longest season since it was first opened to the public in 1959.

The radical changes come after some highly successful visits to the museum last year by schools whose staff showed considerable interest in bringing more parties of pupils in the future.

“We were delighted to welcome groups of schoolchildren, some as young as five, in 2017,” said museum marketing manager Mike Nevin.

“These visits showed that the historic de Havilland aircraft on display are very exciting for the youngsters, especially being able to sit in the cockpits and passenger cabins, and we extend a warm welcome to both primary and senior schools and colleges.”

The longer opening hours have been made possible by the volunteer-run museum’s major success in 2017 in attracting a large number of new volunteers to join the present team, some of whom can be seen working on conservation work on aircraft including the famous ‘Wooden Wonder’ Mosquito fighter-bomber of World War Two.

The de Havilland Mosquito prototype W4050 on display at the de Havilland Aircraft Museum, Salisbury Hall, London Colney [Picture: DHAM] The de Havilland Mosquito prototype W4050 on display at the de Havilland Aircraft Museum, Salisbury Hall, London Colney [Picture: DHAM]

“This is a major achievement by the museum,” said Mr Nevin, who has been masterminding the strategy.

“We need volunteers on site at the museum to ensure that we can open to the public where they work in a number of different roles, including site maintenance, restoration, fire wardens, stewards and first aiders, all essential to ensure our visitors can enjoy an interesting and safe environment when they visit us.”

The museum recently submitted the final stage of its application to the Heritage Lottery Fund for a £1.843 million grant to enable it to build a large new hangar.

This will enable more of its collection of 20-plus de Havilland aircraft currently on external display to be moved under cover to protect them from the elements.

The new hangar will additionally provide both community and educational facilities, the latter already proving of considerable interest to education chiefs.

• For more, visit www.dehavillandmuseum.co.uk

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