(Apologies for being quiet of late (both here and on the Reader), June turned out to be a very busy month and, thanks to the insane amount of rain we had, we didn’t get out adventuring much either)
Back in April I wrote a post about my local aviation museum – The Midland Air Museum – At the time I said I needed to write a more detailed post, and I promised to return and take some more pictures…
…So needing no further excuse for another visit, over my birthday weekend in May, I went back there with camera in hand for another mooch about.
Ratty hiding in the hedge outside under the watchful eyes of the Vulcan bomber. Personally I think he was a bit scared!
The visit started as always with a trip to the cafe for tea and some cake, before heading out into the museum. Firstly you walk through an exhibition all about Frank Whittle and the invention of the jet engine, which is very interesting if you have the time to read it, and then you move on into the main building.
A lot of the displays in this building (and the museum as a whole) are to do with local aviation in and around Coventry.
Once we’d toured around the main building, we went outside to the display area, where most of the museum’s aircraft are on show.
Part of the outside display area with the main building on the right. At this point there was a bit of drizzle still in the air!
I do like this place. Yes it is a bit disorganised and haphazard, but it has bags of character and the atmosphere is brilliant.
The museum began life in 1967 when a small group of aircraft enthusiasts set themselves up as the ‘Midland Aircraft Preservation Society (MAPS)’. They started by collecting books, photographs and aircraft parts and as they had no permanent home, they exhibited at air displays and fetes to raise money for further acquisitions.
In 1975 a small plot of land on Coventry airport was secured, allowing them to start setting up a permanent museum. MAPS then the changed its name in 1977 to Midland Air Museum (MAM) and, with only five aircraft on display, it first opened it’s doors to the the public on the 2nd April 1978 with 67 visitors.
One thing I did notice walking around, was the poor condition the paint was in on a lot of the aircraft. This is quite unusual, as the museums’s staff generally take good care of their charges, but I think the rain and the harsh weather we’ve had this year has taken it’s toll – it’s a shame but I’m sure they’ll get them back in good shape over the summer.
It had been raining for a lot of the day, but thankfully it had held off enough to allow us to sit out on the museums picnic tables for a rest – one of these days we must bring some lunch – you certainly get a great view of the exhibits!
There is another hanger at the far end of the museum. This houses a display about the history of the museum, and some other exhibits, including aircraft in restoration.
Running out of time, we headed back up the flight(less) line…
And it’s not all fast jet powered whizzy things – they do have some propeller jobs too!
We also had to fend off the local wildlife…
As normal, it was possible to sit in the Argosy and the Vulcan, but as we’d done that several before we’d decided not to. However, as we were walking past one of the volunteers asked if we’d like to sit in this beast (which is not normally open) …
What great way to end our visit!
Well, farewell for now my friends, normal service will resume shortly.
P.S. A quick shout out to my SPAM buddy Bruce Cooper in California. I hope this finds you well Bruce and inspires you to get out more! 😀 )