Trip Advisor award for de Havilland Aircraft Museum
An aviation museum that restores de Havilland aircraft and is home of the Mosquito museum has won a top tourism award.
Its growing corps of volunteers has helped the de Havilland Aircraft Museum earn recognition.
Comments made by visitors to the museum at Salisbury Hall, London Colney, over the past year have led to Travellers Worldwide awarding the aircraft museum its Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence in Hospitality.
Museum marketing director Mike Nevin said: “We are very pleased to have been given this award as a direct result of our visitors’ views on Trip Advisor, who have endorsed the museum and the work carried out by our volunteers.
“It means we have been recognised for delivering consistently great service as defined by the reviews of travellers and visitors.”
The museum, a registered charity, gained some 30 new volunteers last year, boosting its team to some 150 people.
It also instituted a formal training programme, at the same time creating the new board-level role of volunteer development director.
This has been taken on by a volunteer, Don Stoddart.
He said: “This is a most challenging time for the museum as we are planning to open for longer hours and more days each year.
“We will need even more new volunteers to help look after our visitors, with responsibilities ranging from ground maintenance to guardians of individual aircraft, and several other projects, so our needs are very varied.
The de Havilland Aircraft Museum’s mission is to preserve and communicate the de Havilland heritage, to ensure that current and future generations of all ages will understand de Havilland’s contribution to innovative British aviation technology.
The museum’s volunteers are dedicated to restoring de Havilland aircraft and artefacts.
The Salisbury Hall site’s New Hangar will provide additional facilities that will enable more of the museum’s aircraft to be under cover, and ensure that the restoration process can continue in all weathers, as well as providing visitors with the opportunity to enjoy practical and informative learning opportunities.
“We have an ongoing training programme and we need new volunteers of all ages and abilities.”
The aviation museum is the only one in the country dedicated to a single manufacturer, and has more than 20 iconic aircraft designed and built by de Havilland at its Hatfield factory over nearly 70 years.
Mr Stoddart said: “Visitors can get close up and even inside many of our aircraft and we encourage questions to restoration teams working on aircraft, including the DH Mosquito, Comet, 146, Trident, Sea Vixen and Sea Venom, before enjoying light refreshments in the Aeroshop where they can browse a wide range of aviation related items.
“This all contributes to making the museum the wonderful place it is and, with the tremendous effort our volunteers and the trainers put in each and every day that we are open, combine to put the museum on the must-visit list, not only for all aircraft enthusiasts but also for families.”
The museum, just of Junction 22 of the M25, reopens for its 2017 season on Sunday, March 5.
• Full details of how to become a volunteer, opening hours and news about the museum can be found on its website at www.dehavillandmuseum.co.uk