On Sunday 4 August the Museum held its annual Family Fun Day in excellent weather conditions, unlike last year when, due to the torrential rain, it had to be held inside the Museum’s buildings. This year many of the stalls and attractions were located outside including, new to the show, a ‘sit-on’ train on a 120 feet rail track. Also new to visitors this year was the Museum’s newly completed Provost aircraft cockpit experience.
As usual, we were very well supported by our local Air Training Corps Squadron (No 461, Chichester). The cadets, in addition to carrying out a precision drill demonstration, helped us to man our simulators and ran some of our outside activities including the popular radio controlled bombing challenge using a large model Lancaster bomber.
During the day over 750 visitors enjoyed the many attractions and refreshment facilities, including a beer tent run by Hammerpot’s brewery. Many of the children present (including 70 under 5) took advantage of the activities in our Neville Duke Hall classroom where the Education Team had laid on 17 activities. Completion of four activities allowed a child to claim a ‘goodie bag’ containing aviation related presents.
Repeated again this year were readings from ‘Grandpa’s Great Escape’, a book by David Walliams. Twelve year old Hannah Thomas, granddaughter of Richard Thomas, the Museum’s Education Officer, and Rosemary Coxon read the extracts.
The good weather this year enabled our engineers to open up the cockpits of the GR3 Harrier and the Wessex helicopter and also allowed visitors to look into the Phantom and Lightning cockpits.
Just after lunch the clouds cleared and thanks to the generosity of the Boultbee Flight Academy at Goodwood our visitors were thrilled by an excellent ten minute Supermarine Spitfire Mk IX flying display flown Jim Schofield, an ex RAF test pilot, who has recently flown the RAF’s newest fast jet fighter, the F-35 Lightning II.
In summary, an excellent Family Fun Day, held in good weather and enjoyed by both visitors and Museum staff alike.
Photos: David Burleigh