Work on London Colney deHavilland museum £1.5 million project begins

Work is beginning at the deHavilland museum in London Colney - photo courtesy of Gary Lakin

Work is beginning at the deHavilland museum in London Colney - photo courtesy of Gary Lakin

Garry Lakin

Work has begun on an aircraft museum's highly anticipated £1.5 million hangar.

Work is beginning at the deHavilland museum in London Colney - photo courtesy of Gary LakinWork is beginning at the deHavilland museum in London Colney - photo courtesy of Gary Lakin

The de Havilland aircraft museum in London Colney was closed to the public over the winter season and a temporary hangar has been erected on an extension to the site.

Volunteers worked hard to make the museum ready to re-open on Sunday (6) while ensuring everything was organised for the start of construction work on Monday (14).

The current hangar, built in 1959, will be dismantled and groundworks have already begun as part of the £1.5 million construction, despite only £400,000 being raised so far.

Hundreds of yards of Astroturf have been rolled out to cover the floor of the new marquee to create grass-like walkways.

Work is beginning at the deHavilland museum in London Colney - photo courtesy of Gary LakinWork is beginning at the deHavilland museum in London Colney - photo courtesy of Gary Lakin

Project director Bill Maris said: “It has been an absolutely fantastic achievement by our volunteers. To get the museum ready on time to open its gates to the public has seen our volunteers working here six and even seven days a week.”

For Pete Widdicombe, volunteer team leader for the museum’s site team, it meant laying new concrete pathways and hard standings for the repositioned aircraft.

This includes a DH Heron, Vampire, Sea Vixen, Chipmunk, Tiger Moth, Horsa troop-carrying glider, Cierva Autogyro, Comet jet airliner, BAE146 and 125 Business Jet.

Pete said: “The volunteers have put in a huge effort to make sure everything is ready. It has been a lot of hard work that has been done. The museum is now looking forward to another successful season, and this year for the first time we are opening for an extra day, Fridays, as well as our normal Tuesdays, Thursdays weekends and bank holiday weekends.”

Work is beginning at the deHavilland museum in London Colney - photo courtesy of Gary LakinWork is beginning at the deHavilland museum in London Colney - photo courtesy of Gary Lakin

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