Work starts on £3.2million new hangar project at de Havilland Aircraft Museum
PUBLISHED: 15:00 25 November 2018 | UPDATED: 21:13 22 December 2018
de Havilland Aircraft Museum
A £3.2million project to build a new hangar at an aircraft museum preserving de Havilland's aviation heritage has been given civic approval.
Hertsmere mayor Brenda Batten visited the de Havilland Aircraft Museum as work began on the new hangar project.
The project is backed with nearly £2million of National Lottery funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).
At a short ceremony at the museum in the grounds of Salisbury Hall, London Colney, Councillor Batten, accompanied by the mayor’s consort John Batten, called the museum “a hidden gem which has a tremendous value to the whole community”.
As contractor Newland Construction began building work on the site of a large new hangar due to be completed by August 2019, the Hertsmere mayor added: “This museum is the oldest aviation museum in Britain and is unique.
“It is a valuable asset to the community and will offer many more facilities to both the community and educational establishments.
“Importantly, it will continue to ensure that the de Havilland heritage is further enshrined in the community where it employed many thousands of people and led the world in many aviation techniques.”
The mayor was welcomed by museum chairman Alan Brackley.
He said that it had taken five years to get the New Hangar Project from initial planning to the start of construction.
“The new hangar is important because it will not only enable us to get more of our historic aircraft under cover and protected from the weather but also enable us to become much more involved in the local community,” said Mr Brackley.
He thanked Hertsmere Borough Council for its help in getting the ‘de Havilland Aircraft Museum in the 21st Century Project’ off the ground, and its understanding of de Havilland’s important place in the local heritage.
The de Havilland Aircraft Museum’s collection includes three DH Mosquitos, including the prototype.
It also houses a range of historic aircraft designed by the de Havilland Aircraft Company at its Hatfield factory.
The museum is now closed until Sunday, February 17, 2019.
Despite the ongoing building work, museum chairman Alan Brackley stressed that it will continue to be open to visitors during the 2019 season.
“Visitors will not be inconvenienced in any way whatsoever,” said Mr Brackley.
“All of our museum will be accessible for visitors to get close to and into several of our military aircraft and civil airliners.”
A feature of the volunteer-run museum is that visitors can also see restoration work being carried out on some of the aircraft, such as the DH.98 Mosquito and DH.106 Comet.
Mr Brackley added: “Thanks to the money raised by the National Lottery players and the many other supporters of the museum the new hangar project will not only safely display several important aircraft exhibits inside the new building away from the rigours of the British weather, but it will be able to offer the local community an exciting venue for meetings, conferences, parties, learning and other social events.”
• For more on the museum, visit www.dehavillandmuseum.co.uk