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Imperial War Museum Duxford confirms it is to reopen soon




The doors to IWM Duxford have been closed for over four months but, from Saturday, August 1, they will re-opento welcome members of the public back.

Visitor numbers to the historic site will be limited to ensure the safety of staff and visitors and those looking to visit should book tickets online in advance for an allocated time.

IWM members will receive access to priority booking, as of last Friday, with public bookings opening on Wednesday, July 15.

Originally scheduled to open in July, The Ops Block: Battle of Britain will now open on September 15, the anniversary of the day the Battle of Britain reached its climax.

The exhibition will grant the public access to newly transformed and previously unseen historic Second World War rooms.

Duxford Battle of Britain Airshow in September 2019. Picture by Paul Sanwell
Duxford Battle of Britain Airshow in September 2019. Picture by Paul Sanwell

Visitors can step foot into the former nerve centre of RAF Duxford to discover accounts of those who lived and worked here and immerse themselves in a multi-sensory recreation of the Ops Room, experiencing the tension felt on the ground on September 15, 1940.

Visitors can explore three dedicated ‘people stories’ rooms and learn about the Women’s Auxiliary Airforce, controllers and pilots who served at RAF Duxford.

The newly transformed Battle of Britain Exhibition will also reopen on September 15, featuring iconic Second World War aircraft, interactive displays and Duxford-specific stories.

The Battle of Britain Airshow at IWM Duxford last year.
The Battle of Britain Airshow at IWM Duxford last year.

The exhibition will also explore Duxford’s shared history with the Supermarine Spitfire as the base of the first operational Spitfire squadron.

An airworthy Spitfire will be displayed in the hangar while a replica, positioned outside between the hangar and newly opened Ops Block, will complete the visitor experience.

The annual Battle of Britain Air Show will take place as planned from September 18 to 20.

Duxford Battle of Britain Air Show from inside a cockpit. Picture: Paul Sanwell
Duxford Battle of Britain Air Show from inside a cockpit. Picture: Paul Sanwell

Duxford Battle of Britain Proms has also been added to the event schedule on September 18 with afternoon flying entertainment followed by a concert featuring The D-Day Darlings.

On the ground, there will be vintage fairground activities and market stalls, military vehicle displays, bunting workshops, flight line walks and plenty of music and dancing.

Spitfires, Hurricanes, Mustangs and other remarkable aircraft will take to the skies for spectacular flying displays and sunset flypasts.

A Doris Day lookalike with an anti-tank air gun at the IWM Duxford Airshow. Picture: Paul Sanwell
A Doris Day lookalike with an anti-tank air gun at the IWM Duxford Airshow. Picture: Paul Sanwell

As one of the only air shows taking place in the UK this year, Duxford’s Battle of Britain Air Show is a summer must-see in this commemorative anniversary year.

This summer and autumn will also see IWM Duxford host a number of new Battle of Britain events and activities including bespoke tours, photography workshops and panel discussions.

Highlights include the Life and Death in the Battle of Britain walking tour with IWM historian Carl Warner, who will provide an insight into the psychological pressures young fighter pilots faced in the summer of 1940, and a panel discussion with author, historian and broadcaster James Holland.

There is also the chance to sit in the cockpit of an airworthy Mk1a Spitfire or gain after-hours access to the site for Battle of Britain 80: The Night Shoot for an opportunity to capture Duxford’s historic buildings and airfield through your camera lens.

For a full list of events, please visit the IWM Duxford website.


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