Group Captain David Baron OBE reviews the Museum’s 2010 season:
This was yet another excellent year characterised by a number of high profile visits and media interest associated with the 70th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain. Various new exhibits were introduced and considerable progress was made on the uniform preservation and medal projects and restoration of the Ferret armoured car and Link Trainer. Of particular note was the formal opening of our unique Lightning simulator by Air Chief Marshal Sir William Wratten GBE CB AFC FRAeS CIMgt, himself an ex-Lightning pilot, on 22nd July. Building on previous years, the Museum’s Education Section hosted a total of no fewer than 46 school visits during 2010 and our Education Officer gave 26 talks on aviation matters to groups in the local community. Following the submission of relevant documentation, the Museum, Libraries and Archives (MLA) Council confirmed the renewal of our Full Accreditation.
The year’s main themed event held on 8th August was a major success with some 1,280 visitors in attendance. Principal guests were our Patron, The Duke of Richmond, accompanied by The Duchess, and we were also honoured to welcome Dame Vera Lynn. Five aircraft – Harvard, Hurricane, Spitfire, Dakota and Stearman Biplane gave an excellent flying display in perfect weather. Other themed events during the year included classic car rallies, art exhibitions, model aircraft flying and a military vehicle day.
Visitor numbers during 2010 peaked at 32,958. This figure is 6.8% up on the total for 2009 and exceeds the previous record of 32,238 achieved in 2008.