Aircraft museum launches appeal to raise funds for new children's play area

Cockpit fun for a young visitor in a de Havilland Vampire jet fighter at the de Havilland Aircraft Museum.

Cockpit fun for a young visitor in a de Havilland Vampire jet fighter at the de Havilland Aircraft Museum. - Credit: Garry Lakin

Britain's oldest aviation museum has launched an appeal to raise funds for a play area.

With preparations well under way to reopen to the public on Tuesday, May 18, the de Havilland Aircraft Museum has started a Crowdfunder appeal to finance a new children's play area.

It will be one of a range of new events and attractions planned as part of the Museum of the 21st Century Project.

Back to the drawing board for a family in front of the de Havilland Mosquito prototype at the de Havilland Aircraft Museum.

Back to the drawing board for a family in front of the de Havilland Mosquito prototype at the de Havilland Aircraft Museum. - Credit: Garry Lakin

“The museum has gone through a difficult time with the pandemic lockdown restrictions and we are now planning to be bigger and better than ever,” said museum general manager Jonathan Fulwell.

“The play area will, we believe, be very much welcomed by parents as they bring their families here at weekends and school holidays.

"It will be a very good addition to our facilities which will also include an expanded café with hot and cold snacks and drinks.”

Visit www.crowdfunder.co.uk/de-havilland-aircraft-museum-in-the-21st-century for more details and to donate.

News of the crowdfunding appeal comes as the museum, located in the grounds of the historic Salisbury Hall Tudor mansion at London Colney, says it will honour free admission offers issued in 2020, when it was open for just a few weeks.

During the near-14 month pandemic closure, extensive work at the museum has seen the creation of a central aircraft restoration workshop where visitors will be able to watch the volunteer teams restore and repair some of the classic de Havilland aircraft on display in the two large display hangars.

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The Hertfordshire museum, a registered charity run by teams of volunteers, has a collection of a score of iconic civil and military aircraft all designed and built by the de Havilland Aircraft Company during its years based at Hatfield.

Mr Fulwell praised the work volunteers have been carrying out during the shutdown, including site works to ensure visitor safety, as well as installing new electronic information displays and new attractions.

The museum has issued an appeal for members of the public to join them as volunteers.

“All the details are on our website," he said.

"We welcome help in conserving these aircraft, and our volunteers range from their 20s to being retired.

"There are a lot of opportunities here to get involved, from stewarding to site maintenance and maintaining our unique range of aircraft.”

The three display hangars are fully accessible, with larger airliners on outside display.

There is free parking at the museum, which is signposted at Junction 22 of the M25.

Full details and pre-booking can be found on the museum website at www.dehavillandmuseum.co.uk where a new range of virtual tours of the museum and its aircraft can also be viewed. 

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