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Duxford Diary 2018

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  • Mayhem Marshy
    Rank 5 Registered User

    Well here goes, time to put one's head above the parapet...

    Whilst I agree that Duxford, is one of the best places in the world for the restoration and preservation of aircraft and indeed houses very fine collections of aircraft (biggest understatement of 2018 so far), for me it has an incredible atmosphere, particularly in and around the central part of the airfield with the historic hangars, tower and associated outbuildings, that I treasure. I personally think that the building of any new building should be kept to either end of the airfield away from this area, keeping elements separate. Although the pull of Duxford to many/all of us, is historical aircraft (mop chin of drool), it is possibly not the way that future generations will look at things, and these will be the people keeping things moving forward in the future. Many of us have memories of seeing some of these aircraft in action which provides a personal link and emotion, whereas for youngsters, a story needs to be told to accompany these exhibits, to put them in context, and the way that the stories are being told is changing.

    Two weeks ago, I took my three year old to the Historic Dockyards at Portsmouth and the writing was clearly on the wall, that museums need to change to educate people, and the way that this could be achieved is that although these museums are stuffed full of wonderful "ornaments", they all have human stories to tell, which I guess to a certain extent is the idea behind archaeology. Whilst he is only three, his reactions to two exhibits in particular, made me think and I was quite shocked. We walked through the various buildings to HMS Victory, which has recently been restored. "Look daddy a pirate ship!" The ship was immaculately presented in a dry dock and a designated route took you through the internal spaces with numerous canon and various artefacts depicting how life would have been. It was spotlessly clean and pretty cramped. My three year old was bored after 5 minutes, we listened to his boredom for the next 10 minutes and to him, Victory remained a pirate ship. We then walked the short distance to the new Mary Rose display, which was opened in 2016 and the difference was staggering. The remains of the hull were upright in the centre of the very modern building with displays of items retrieved from the sea bed, when the ship was being excavated, being displayed over three floors at each end of the building (they were displayed on the floor relevant to the existing deck they would have been on). The hull was cleverly lit in dim lighting and animated projections shone onto the hull at different times, showing people working as they would have in that particular area whilst at sea. The images were accompanied by sound and the whole experience was completely immersive. My three year old was agog and told me when we came out that there were knights on that boat and it had a kitchen, which I suppose was almost true.

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    My point is that whilst Duxford has numerous historic aircraft, it needs a human element to make them more relevant to future generations, and the classrooms in which we would all have learnt about history have changed a great deal. The clever use of technology and media at Portsmouth shows how much things have changed in just the past few years and I would highly recommend a visit. There is already a great sense of atmosphere at Duxford and, I for one would like to see this enhanced. If that means more technologically inspired exhibits to tell a very important story then so be it. The "ornaments " then become a very big part of an important story, it just needs someone to work out how to do it and it is almost certain that a modern building will be required as the way that buildings (even houses) are now built and designed, have technology at their core. I would also like to see more wartime exhibits amongst the hangars, a few sand bags, vehicles etc?

    Anyway time to get back down behind the parapet and sit back on the fence...

    P.S. sorry, the picture came out bigger than I expected!


    • Hooligan
      Rank 4 Registered User

      Tin helmets everybody!

      The proposed developments at Duxford are an interesting topic for discussion but might it not be better in its own thread and keep this one for the excellent pictorial diary of day to day activity?

      PS mayhem, I'll read your post properly later...!


      • scotavia

        ahh the MaryRose,,astonished that prince Charles had to borrow a wetsuit when he dived on her...anyway back to the topic...dynamic displays are in place at many air museums, eg Oz Lanc ,Peter Jacksons Di O ramas, yeovilton flight deck. So why not?


        • Beaufighter VI
          Rank 5 Registered User

          EAG exhibits are still on display, not as many as before. Other items went to After The Battle Magazine, THEY WERE NOT SOLD by EAG.
          " I'm not young enough to know everything." - J M Barrie 1903


          • R4118
            Rank 5 Registered User

            One thing for all you resident Duxford spotters......The ARCo Buchon has been put into new temporary colours and according to their Instagram Story yesterday will be out and about soon


            • Mayhem Marshy
              Rank 5 Registered User

              I guess that it all boils down to hard cash with regard to the development, but speculate to accumulate (maybe)

              I believe that Prince Charles still dives on an old wreck? (no knighthood for me)

              Looking forward to seeing the Buchon in new colours!

              BTW - I have never voiced my appreciation for all of those who take the time to post, and in particular to those who take the time to take photos for us all, so a big thank you from someone who can only visit Duxford once (or sometimes twice) a year


              • DCW
                David Whitworth

                Duxford Friday 12th January:

                Plenty of action today, despite some dull weather.
                Ferocious Frankie is reported as sold, but was airborne for a local flight. Flying from Duxford for nearly 37 years !

                Also flying was Buchon G-AWHK, now reverted to her 'Dunkirk' colours but not yet 'Black 2'

                Sea Fury WG655 has been engine running again, and BBMF Chipmunk WG486 was out for a compass swing:

                The Hurricane gateguard looks complete now:

                Finally, high and low in Hangar 3:



                • Duxman
                  Rank 5 Registered User

                  A few more from today.

                  G-AWHK by AJCDuxman, on Flickr

                  G-BTCD by AJCDuxman, on Flickr

                  G-AWHK by AJCDuxman, on Flickr

                  G-AWHK by AJCDuxman, on Flickr

                  Flikr --


                  • Pen Pusher
                    Rank 5 Registered User

                    Friday 12th January

                    My take on the days entertainment. In the order taken and with wall to wall cloud, it was a very flat light for decent photographic conditions.

                    Sony Alpha A6000 CSC & Tamron 18-200mm f3.5-6.3 Di-III VC.

                    The Future Of Photography Is Mirrorless

                    DfG on Facebook


                    • Seafuryfan
                      Rank 5 Registered User

                      Thank you Brian and to all the other contributors. We’re lucky to have your continued input.


                      • DazDaMan
                        Rank 5 Registered User

                        Fantastic stuff!

                        I did rather like the Buchon's Dunkirk scheme the first time around.
                        Daren Cogdon

                        Spitfire fanatic


                        • Falcon109
                          Messerschmitt 109

                          Thanks for the nice photos! A good start into 2018. :-)
                          Falcon's Messerschmitt Bf 109 Hangar
                          - + > < + -
                          The picture archive of the most produced fighter plane of the world.


                          • Cyflyer
                            Rank 3 Registered User

                            Just to add my tupence worth to what Mayhem Marshy said, the kind of human story to exhibits that you mention, isn't that what they have in the 'Historic Duxford' building at Duxford ? I think it's in front of hanger 2. Video projections, people telling their story etc. As for Historic Dockyard Portsmouth, I'm there often, and it is truely a wonderful place. Its easy to be a regular to the Historic Dockyard as any ticket you buy is valid for unlimited visits for a year. Worth going on the harbour boat tour just to see the new Queen Elizabeth carrier. You buy a ticket for Victory or Mary Rose and the harbour tour is included in either of those and you can do it as often as you like.


                            • Supermarine305
                              Rank 5 Registered User

                              Re: Post #67 photo #7

                              Are those Victor bits being stripped of paint?


                              • southyorkshirem
                                Rank 5 Registered User

                                Good to see the Fury coming along. Do the cockpit fixtures need altering when a different engine is fitted? Also wondered about this with the Merlin / DB interchangeable 109?


                                • adrian_gray
                                  Which idiot let HIM in?

                                  It looks as though there was some serious struggling with the light going on on the 12th! Mind you, all worth it for Pen Pusher's photo of the fiery Buchon start.

                                  "Snow clearing equipment has been found under snowdrift" - message sent from RNAS Hatston, Orkney, 1944.


                                  • skeeler
                                    Rank 5 Registered User

                                    Supermarine305 - Yes they are. The museums Victor is being refurbished/restored in that hangar.


                                    • T J Johansen
                                      Considerate hitman

                                      Just wondering. Being as it is 50 years since the BoB movie was shot this summer, wouldn't the film colors be more apt on the Buchon?

                                      T J
                                      "And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who would attempt to poison and destroy my brothers. And you will know my name is the Lord when I lay my vengeance upon thee!!!"

                                      Jules Winnfield 1994


                                      • Supermarine305
                                        Rank 5 Registered User

                                        Skeeler. Thank you. Good to see work continues on the weary old bird.


                                        • Spitfiresrule
                                          Rank 4 Registered User

                                          Does anyone know when the tickets for the Flying Legends Airshow 2018 are going on sale?
                                          What ever anyone says, Spitfires are the best.


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