Image of Imperial War Museums Logo Image of Historic Duxford title

Just a quick update to post some links to some good online videos. First, Captain Burt Newmark’s presentation to an American school group. Burt flew with the 78th Fighter Group from Duxford, and has got an amazing story to tell.

http://vimeo.com/8792168

Second, here’s a clip telling the story of a German raid on Duxford’s satellite station, Fowlmere, during the Battle of Britain. It’s from our Duxford: The Second World War Years DVD:

Third, here’s a link to a piece filmed by the Museum for the recent Battle of Britain anniversary, showing our very own Steve Woolford, Project Director for the Historic Duxford project. Over to you, Steve…

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George Unwin and his Alsatian Flash. By permission of the Imperial War Museum,IWM CH 001343

Sarah pointed out some time ago how often dogs appear in photographs of Duxford.  Dogs and other animals were a key part of station life.

There are lots of accounts and photographs of pets and mascots at Duxford: the unnamed First World War donkey (below), the Station Commander’s horse, Flash the Alsatian (above), Rangy the Spaniel and No. 609 Squadron’s famous mascot “William de Goat” to name a few.

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Bob Hope and Frances Langford. By permission of the Imperial War Museum, IWM HU57979

One of the photos in our Historic Duxford ‘taster’ display in AirSpace is of Bob Hope and Frances Langford visiting the American 78th Fighter Group at Duxford. The photo appears to be a morale boosting shot, but actually Bob Hope and Frances Langford visited in July 1943 only a few days after the Commanding Officer, Colonel Arman ‘Pete’ Peterson had been lost on a mission. According to the Duxford Diary, Bob Hope admitted he had had trouble getting the audience at Duxford to laugh. Not surprising when they had lost such a respected leader. I think it adds a whole new dimension to the photograph. What do you think?

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VoiceAbility consultation

As part of our ongoing consultation process we had a group of 11 young people from the Cambridgeshire VoiceAbility Youth Parliament visit Duxford on 24 March. They came ready to test out our existing exhibitions, especially AirSpace, and to give us their thoughts and ideas for Historic Duxford.

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Aerial photograph of Duxford during the First World War, taken from the west. By permission of the Imperial War Museum, IWM Q 114046

We’ve been looking at some of the material related to the construction of Duxford, and trying to work out the costs associated with building a First World War airfield in today’s prices.

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Public meeting in the Marshall Auditorium, IWM Duxford

On 10 March we held a public meeting to introduce Historic Duxford to local communities. The Interpretation team were out in force to chat to people about the project, share our enthusiasm and, most importantly, get some ideas!

We had a good turn out, including some ex-Duxford personnel, who had some exciting tales to tell! It was great to hear people, other than ourselves, getting behind the idea of the exhibition and excited about the potential it holds.

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Hangar 3: Air and Sea and the Watch Office. By permission of the Imperial War Museum, IWM_SITE_DUX_000317

Phase 1 of the interpretation of Historic Duxford will take place in what is currently known as Building 89. This building was used in the 1930s as a Watch Office, where the duty pilot or officer on watch would be stationed during flying activity.  It was built in 1917/1918, along with Hangar 3: Air and Sea. These are the first 1918 buildings that visitors encounter on their journey through the Museum.

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Pilots of No. 19 and No. 616 Squadrons pose by a Spitfire. By permission of the Imperial War Museum, IWM CH 1400

I’m Carl, Duxford’s Exhibitions Manager, and I’ll be running this blog while developing the content for Historic Duxford. For our first post, I thought I’d explain what we’re going to be doing in the first weeks of the project. This can be summed up in one word: ‘evaluation’.

We want to ensure that we incorporate all the good stuff from previous projects, change the things that didn’t work, and get people to contribute their thoughts and ideas at the outset.

There are several parts to this.

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