Nostalgic family fun planned for Armed Forces Weekend
Published on: 15 May 2019
Date: 29-30 June 2019 / Time: 10am-5pm / Cost: FREE
Join in the Armed Forces Day celebrations at the Royal Air Force Museum Midlands on 29 and 30 June, with a weekend packed full of nostalgic activities for the whole family to enjoy!
The ‘Armed Forces Weekend’ will see re-enactors, living historians and a variety of activities bring the Museum to life with authentic experiences nestled amongst the historical aircraft on display. Period settings and performances throughout the hangars will showcase decades of military history in a fun engaging way! Families can look forward to engine demonstrations, military and civilian vintage vehicles, a close look inside several cockpits, plus plenty of activities for children to participate in as they work their way around the Museum.
WHAT’S ON over the Armed Forces Weekend:
- Learn how the plotting table played a vital role in the pilots flying missions
- Join a Vulcan pilot and his team preparing to scramble under the wings of the real aircraft
- View the airships display and find out more about their use during the First World War
- Find out how sea mines were recovered and detonated, or in some cases not, during special talks
- Take a closer look inside the cockpits of the world’s oldest Spitfire and enjoy a rare view of the photo reconnaissance Spitfire PR. XIX
- Walk amongst the Second World War tents, meet members from Women’s Voluntary Service and take part in rifle and bayonet drills
- See a range of military and civilian vehicles on display
- Climb inside the Hunter and Phantom cockpit and experience what it was like to fly these aircraft
- Watch as RAF Bomber Command ground crew prepare themselves for a mission, including the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force
- Watch Rolls-Royce Merlin Mk500 and Bristol Hercules Mk216 demonstrations
- Dress up in RAF attire and grab some props from the Museum’s handling collection and take photos as a memento of your day
- Families can enjoy decorating their own Armed Forces flag to take home
- The Museum’s restaurant will be serving a selection of Armed Forces treats all weekend
An exciting highlight over the weekend will be the ‘Greyhounds’ play performed by Time & Again Theatre Company on Saturday 29 June. Set in 1941 in the fictional village of Shuttlefield; whilst the country is in the grips of the Second World War, the hapless residents are preparing to perform Shakespeare’s Henry V to raise money for their local Spitfire fund. Performances will run at 11.00am and 3.00pm and tickets are available online CLICK HERE for just £5 per person. Following their performance, the cast will be available to answer questions and pose for photos next to the world’s oldest Spitfire.
RAF Museum Public Events Executive, Nathan Davis said:
“Armed Forces Weekend is an opportunity to reflect and pay tribute to our heroes past and present, including current serving personnel, service families, veterans and cadets. On the 29 and 30 June, we will be celebrating the contributions made by our Armed Forces, spanning over 100 years of history with everything from re-enactments and a play to vehicle displays and engine demonstrations. The event is very much family focussed and there will be plenty to do for all ages.”
Following its preview at the Cosford Air Show, Armed Forces Weekend will be the first opportunity for visitors to try out the new Virtual Reality Lounge and experience the thrill of flying a Spitfire! The Spitfire 360° is a brand-new experience developed by the RAF Museum which puts the visitor in the cockpit and 10,000 feet in the air to enjoy a fully interactive panoramic view around them. The 6-minute flight includes an insight in how the pilot handles the controls during engine start, taxi, take off and a circuit of the airfield with low passes, swoops, banks and a loop-de-loop, before landing and taxiing into the hangar. This experience costs £5 per person and is suitable for visitors aged 13+.
The Museum’s RAF Stories team will also be available over Armed Forces Weekend to speak with anyone wishing to share stories of their personal connections to the RAF and the service’s influences on their lives. RAF Stories is a digital online collection, accessible globally by anyone wishing to share and explore engaging, historical and contemporary stories relating to the RAF. Look out for the team in the National Cold War Exhibition if you have a story to share!
The ‘Armed Forces Weekend’ will run from 10am to 5pm on Saturday 29 and Sunday 30 June 2019. On arrival, make sure to pick up your free handy site map to help guide you round the Museum and ensure you don’t miss out on any of the displays! The Museum will also be operating a free shuttle bus service from Cosford train station for any visitors travelling by train or using the park and ride and will run continuously throughout the day. Vehicles and re-enactment groups subject to change.