Wing Commander Guy Gibson with members of his crew of 617 Squadron © IWM (TR 1127)
This week marks the 70th anniversary of the Dambusters raid. Next summer when our new atrium fully re-opens we’ll have a piece of the bar from the Petwood Hotel where the off-duty aircrews involved in the Dambusters raid would relax and socialise. A recent acquisition by IWM, this will be the first time the bar has ever been on public display.
Seventy years ago, on the night of 16–17 May 1943, Wing Commander Guy Gibson led an audacious bombing raid to destroy three dams in the Ruhr valley, the industrial heartland of Germany. The dams were fiercely protected. Torpedo nets in the water stopped underwater attacks and anti-aircraft guns defended them against enemy bombers. But 617 Squadron had a secret weapon: the ‘bouncing bomb’.
We’ve taken some archive footage of a Dambusters bouncing bomb test and turned it into an animated gif.
You can find out more about the Dambusters raid on our website here.
Three civilians soak up the sunshine as they sleep in the sunshine in the comfort of deck chairs in Hyde Park, London. © IWM (D 15939)
As spring slowly rolls into summer the first brave sunbathers, sports teams and locals enjoying the sunshine emerged last weekend, tucking into ice creams in the park alongside the museum.
Although it’s always a bit galling to be able to see people eating ice creams, playing Frisbee and sunning themselves while we’re stuck in the office it has got us all excited about the new café at IWM London which opens in summer 2014.
Located on the west-side of the building the new café will open out into the park so we’ll be able to sit outside and enjoy a nice hot drink or grab a bite to eat before heading into the museum to explore the new galleries and displays.
Merely to remind you that……..TIME FLIES © IWM (Art.IWM PST 3703)
Summer is just around the corner and it is now only three months until we partially re-open on 29 July. To mark the three month countdown here’s a sneak peak what’s on from July at IWM London…
IWM London is now temporarily closed until July 2013 as we begin the first phase of our major transformation project.
Di Lees, our Director-General, speaks about our major redevelopment project, Transforming IWM London. Watch the video above to hear about our future plans.
This temporary period of closure is allowing us to safely and securely deliver the most disruptive construction works needed to transform our museum.
We will partially reopen in July 2013. You can look forward to our major new family exhibition Horrible Histories®: Spies, launching in July 2013. We will also have an exciting new programme of art and photography exhibitions in the autumn. The Lord Ashcroft Gallery: Extraordinary Heroes, The Holocaust Exhibition, Secret War, A Family in Wartime and our Explore History Centre will be reopening.
P51D Mustang being prepared by our team of expert conservators for lowering at IWM London.
This past week, the last of our 65 large objects, the P51D Mustang – which has been suspended 15m high in our Large Exhibits Gallery for over 20 years – was lowered by a team of expert conservators before being transported to IWM Duxford to be conserved in our public hangar Conservation in Action.
Since 1989, five historic aircraft have soared overhead, suspended from the ceiling in our Large Exhibits Gallery at IWM London. Last month the first of these aircraft, a Sopwith Camel, was lowered to the ground and dismantled for safe transport as we prepare for the redevelopment of IWM London in January 2013.
Check out the timelapse video above to see how we did it.
PM David Cameron was interviewed by IWM Young Reporters from Archbishop Sumner School today following the announcement of the UK’s plans to mark the First World War Centenary.
Today, five IWM Young Reporters met Prime Minister David Cameron at IWM London.
The IWM Young Reporters are from two local primary schools, Archbishop Sumner School and Oasis Academy Johanna in south London. These Year 5 students are honing their reporting and investigative journalism skills so that they can report back to their communities and the wider public on all the changes that are going on at IWM London in the run-up to the First World War Centenary in 2014.
The Grant Tank used by Field Marshal Montgomery at the Battle of El Alamein will be the first vehicle to be moved from the ground floor of the Large Exhibits Gallery.
…But soon you won’t.
My role in transforming IWM London is to ensure that all the objects are moved safely out of the building and into storage or to the relevant workshops for conservation before we begin the major construction work on the building in January 2013.