Major tourism award for London Colney aircraft museum

work on undercarriage

work on undercarriage - Credit: Archant

A major tourism accolade has been awarded to a museum which has gone from strength to strength in recent years.

Don Stoddart

Don Stoddart - Credit: Archant

The de Havilland Aircraft Museum at Salisbury Hall, London Colney, believes its growing corps of volunteers has helped it receive a Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence in Hospitality from Travellers Worldwide.

The award is based on comments made by visitors to the volunteer-run museum, a registered charity.

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 gained some 30 new volunteers last year, boosting its team to around 150, and instituted a formal training programme while, at the same time, creating the new board-level role of volunteer development director which has been taken by 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.

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“We have an ongoing training programme and we need new volunteers of all ages and abilities.”

The museum is the only museum 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 added: “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 new season opens on March 5 and full details of how to become a volunteer, opening hours and news about the museum can be found on its website.