Joined September 2018 Message
  • Day102

    Hangar 5; Conservation in Action

    November 19 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ☀️ 12 °C

    Hangar 5 is where a team of staff and volunteers work to preserve IWM Duxford's aircraft and large objects; the Conservation in Action team also look after art, artefacts, archives, photography, film, books and sound recordings.  Whereas the restored aircraft in Hangar 2 are used for flying, the aircraft and objects in this hangar are maintained in their current state to prevent further deterioration.

    The Handley Page Victor here is the only aircraft of its type left in the world; originally a bomber when first flown in 1959, it was upgraded to an air-to-air refuelling tanker in 1965 before being retired and flying into Duxford in 1976.  The FMA Pucara here is an Argentine ground-attack aircraft that was deployed during the invasion of the Falklands in 1982; this aircraft was one of those captured.  The Avro Shackleton here was built in 1955 and lost in a crash in the Peak District during operational tests in 1956 when all on board were killed.  The Eurofighter Typhoon here first flew in 1997, but was decommissioned in 2006 and was moved to Duxford in 2009.  The Heinkel Salamander HE162 here is a single-seat jet fighter built in 1945, one of only 7 left in the world.  The Oberursel UR-2 rotary engine on display was actually used in one of the Fokker aircraft flown by Manfred von Richthofen (the Red Baron) in WWI.

    Another really interesting visit to IWM Duxford; there is so much to see here.
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  • Day102

    Hangar 3; Air and Sea

    November 19 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ☀️ 10 °C

    Hangar 3 is an original General Service Aircraft Shed - these are also known as Belfast Truss hangars because of their distinctive latticed Belfast Truss roofs - and now houses IWM Duxford's maritime collection of naval aircraft and boats dating from the First World War, the Second World War, helicopters from the 1950s and aircraft that served in the Falklands War.

    There are many notable aircraft here, including the de Havilland DH.9 bomber from WWI, the cockpit of the A6M Zero - the most successful Japanese fighter aircraft type of the Second World War and the aircraft that would have flown against it in operations - the Grumman TBM-3 Avenger, as well as the de Havilland Sea Vixen and Hawker Sea Hunter (both with folding wings).  This impressive hangar is also home to the B43 "Ole Bill" double-deck, open-top London bus; built by AEC in 1911, it was used as troop transport in WW1, with capacity for carrying 24 fully equipped infantrymen and their kit.  There are also midget submarines and torpedoes on display!
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  • Day102

    Hangar 2; Flying Aircraft

    November 19 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ☀️ 10 °C

    Hangar 2 is where IWM flying partners use their own teams of engineers in special restoration workshops to restore, maintain and prepare privately-owned historic aircraft for flight; the museum's aircraft do not fly and are conserved to prevent future deterioration whereas the act of restoration is returning the aircraft to a complete, historically accurate flying condition using original parts where possible.  

    All the aircraft in this hangar are used in air shows etc; in fact, the Sally B was used in the 1990 film Memphis Belle as one of five flying B-17s needed for various film scenes, and it was used to replicate the real Memphis Belle in one scene.
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  • Day95

    Hangar 4; Battle of Britain

    November 12 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 13 °C

    Hangar 4 is an original General Service Aircraft Shed - these are also known as Belfast Truss hangars because of their distinctive lattice Belfast Truss roofs - and now houses an exhibition that tells the story of the Second World War aerial campaign from the defeat of France through to the end of the Battle of Britian in late October 1940.  It also explores Duxford's history as an operational RAF airfield from the First World War to the Cold War.

    Britain's air defence during the Second World War is particularly emphasised; the Spitfire and Hurricane flown by "the few" are present, as well as a Messerschmitt Bf 109 which was flown during the Battle of Britain until forced down in Sussex due to engine failure - there are also anti-aircraft guns on display and both the Blitz and the V-1 flying bomb offensive are described.

    At the back of the hall, the Cold War period is represented by a Hawker Hunter which flew at Duxford with No. 65 Squadron RAF and by a Hungarian Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21, a common Warsaw Pact jet fighter, as well as several other aircraft.

    A fascinating visit; it was also interesting to see a party of school children being shown round by guides - I eavesdropped on one who was relating his childhood during a bombing raid at home in London and his subsequent evacuation to the Cambridge area!
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  • Day95

    Hangar 1; AirSpace

    November 12 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ☁️ 12 °C

    The original Hangar 1 was upgraded to a 'Superhangar' in the 1980s and then redeveloped and expanded to bring the museum's British and Commonwealth aircraft collection under cover.  It was opened in July 2008, providing 12,000 m2 of floor space, consisting of an aircraft conservation area, a large exhibition hall, and a mezzanine providing views of the aircraft; over 30 aircraft are on display, dating back to the First World War.

    The collection has some of the most famous aircraft in the world, featuring the Concorde (built to fly at the speed of sound), an Avro Lancaster (one of the most recognised allied bombers of the Second World War, famous for its role in the Dambusters raid), an Avro Vulcan and an Airco DH.9 (one of only six surviving DH9s and the only example on display in the UK).  More recent notable aircraft include a Hawker Siddeley Harrier (which served during the Falklands War), a Panavia Tornado (which flew the highest number of bomber sorties of any Tornado in the 1991 Gulf War) and a Eurofighter Typhoon DA4.

    AirSpace also houses Airborne Assault, the museum of the British Army's Parachute Regiment and airborne forces; the museum chronicles the history of British airborne forces from the Second World War to current operations in Afghanistan.  

    It was great to see all these iconic aircraft, go inside the Concorde and to learn about the Parachute Regiment.
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  • Nov9

    Ashdon and Bartlow Circular

    November 9 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 10 °C

    This walk starts in Ashdon in the district of Uttlesford, Essex; it is situated approx. 4 miles northeast of Saffron Walden and is very close to the Essex / Cambs border (Bartlow is in Cambridgeshire).  Our route takes us out of Ashdon via Newnham Hall Farm and doglegs left and right before we reach the bridleway, where there are good views of the surrounding area; this takes us to the small village of Bartlow, the southern border of which divides it from Essex.

    The path takes us through the churchyard of Bartlow St Mary's, one of only two existing round-tower churches in Cambridgeshire; it is also known for its 15th-century wall-paintings whose fragments include depictions of St Christopher, St Michael weighing souls, and St. George's Dragon.  Bartlow Hills, a Roman tumuli cemetery with four remaining mounds, is nearby and we visit these; the tallest is 15 metres tall, thankfully with a walkway to the top, and is the largest barrow north of the Alps.  

    We are back in Essex and the route takes us through Waltons Park and Steventon End; the Hall is is next to Ashdon Place and both are beautiful private residences.  There are good views back to these as we reach Ashdon Windmill (aka Bragg's Mill, William Bragg's Mill, Bartlow Hamlet Mill or Stevington End Mill); this is a grade II listed post mill, where the whole body of the mill that houses the machinery is mounted on a single vertical post, around which it can be turned to bring the sails into the wind - subsequently, the more familiar tower mill took its place.

    It is then back to Ashdon; it has been an interesting 7 mile walk and the weather was beautiful today.
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  • Day88

    Land Warfare Hall

    November 5 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 7 °C

    The Land Warfare Hall was opened in 1992 by Field Marshal Lord Bramall and houses the Museum's collection of armoured vehicles, artillery and military vehicles to tell the story of the mechanisation of warfare.  Walking among these was a good experience.  The collection includes the three command vehicles used by Field Marshal "Monty" Montgomery, used during the Second World War in North West Europe; he was always close to the frontline and they became his office, bedroom and map room, respectively. There is an excellent film to watch called "The Normandy Experience" that describes what D-Day was like.
    The Land Warfare Hall also houses the Forgotten War exhibition, opened in 1999 as a joint project between the Imperial War Museum and the Burma Star Association, to represent veterans of the Burma campaign who often consider themselves to have fought in a "Forgotten Army" compared to those who fought in Europe.  There is also a display dedicated to Captain Sir Tom Moore, who served in Burma.

    The Hall also accommodates the Royal Anglian Regiment Museum; formed in 1964 by the amalgamation of the three regiments of the East Anglian Brigade and the Royal Leicestershire Regiment, it covers the history of the Regiment and its predecessors, which date back to the seventeenth century, up to recent operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and Sierra Leone. In 2010, a Royal Anglian Regiment memorial was dedicated at IWM Duxford, just outside the Land Warfare Hall.
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  • Day157

    Mundesley to Cromer

    October 20 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 15 °C

    The coastal path from Mundesley takes you through a caravan park - there are many along the coast here - on its way to the village of Trimingham. On the outskirts of the village, we pass the RAF Trimingham Air Defence Radar Station, which is shaped like a giant golf ball. We reach the parish church of St John the Baptist's Head; a life size alabaster head of the saint was kept at the church and visited by pilgrims. The church has a short, buttressed and unfinished tower.

    From here, it is back to the coast to walk along the Sidestrand and Trimingham Cliffs, another Site of Scientific Interest, en route to Overstrand. This village was originally a crab fishing centre like Cromer, but it became a holiday destination for wealthy Victorians and was dubbed "the village of millionaires". We walk along the promenade there and then on to the beach for the rest of the way to Cromer.

    It is a lovely stroll to Cromer and there are excellent views as we get closer. It has been another excellent walk (about 8.5 miles).
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  • Day156

    Mundesley Circular Walk

    October 19 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ☁️ 17 °C

    The coastal village of Mundesley is well known for its firm, golden sand beach. In the cliff top gardens above this is the memorial to the Bomb Disposal teams that cleared the Norfolk coast of landmines post WW2, which is next to the smallest maritime museum in the world (formerly a coast guard lookout station).

    Many of the coastal villages around here have circular walks, and the Mundesley circular walk heads inland, past the golf course and follows the Paston Way as far as Gimlingham. From here, we head towards Trunch; the village is known for its 14th century, Grade I listed parish church of St Botolph as it contains a magnificent carved and painted wood font canopy (one of 4 in tbe UK), as well as a decorative hammerbeam roof.

    We follow "quiet roads" as they are known here, back to Mundesley and enjoy a view of the Stow Hill tower windmill in the neighbouring village of Paston on the way.

    Back in Mundesley, The Ship Inn beckons.
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    Ant Travels


  • Day155

    Sea Palling to Mundesley

    October 18 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ☁️ 14 °C

    Sea Palling is a small holiday resort village to the south of Cromer. The Environmental Agency has erected 9 barrier reefs here to protect the village from the North Sea, as there is a lot of coastal erosion in this area. We start our walk at the small RNLI station and take the beach walk option towards Eccles-on-sea; this was abandoned in the 17th century due to being engulfed by the sea, and now exists as the Bush Caravan Estate behind concrete sea defences.

    We reach Happisburgh, which has national archaeological significance as evidence of the oldest human occupation in the UK was unearthed here in 2010. There are many groynes along the shore here to slow erosion; we pass the iconic red and white striped lighthouse - the oldest working in East Anglia - and St Mary's Church, the tall tower of which is an important landmark for sailors.

    We pass Walcott, well known for its sandy beaches, to reach Bacton; there are extensive sea defences here.... The Bacton Gas Terminal is an industrial complex of 6 different supplier terminals, each receiving gas from the UK continental shelf; a scheme was undertaken here in 2019 to deposit 2 million metric tonnes of sand in front of the cliffs to form an artificial dune to protect the complex and local villages for the next 15-20 years from from further erosion.

    The path continues along the beach at the bottom of Mundesley Cliffs, a site of scientific interest, to reach the RNLI Volunteer Station at Mundesley.

    It has been a good walk of close to 10 miles.
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    Wolfgang und Heidi

    You are brave. 10 miles are about 18 km. But everything looks quiet flat, which makes it a nice stroll…

    Andrew's Travels

    Yes, it was flat but some ascent to get to the cliff tops. We like coastal walks.


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