Following their successful lecture series and a number of great family activities, the Army Flying Museum at Middle Wallop in Hampshire recently invited visitors to have an opportunity to see ‘behind the scenes’.
Staging their first ‘Access the Archive’ event which was described by one visitor as “excellent and informative”, it is sure to be the first of many, with each event focussing on a different theme.
Visitors were greeted with a drink and informal chat, with the Museum’s Curator - Susan Lindsay – then giving an introduction amongst the Royal Flying Corps’ Museum exhibits within the Museum to set the scene of the evening, hinting at the more detailed objects and artefacts that would later be seen in the Archive and sharing some fascinating stories from the First World War.
Attendees were then led to the Archive room where Kyle Thomason, the Museum Archivist, and his Assistant Henry Whitington gave interesting and insightful presentations on three First World War servicemen, showing previously unseen photographs, documents, diaries, and artefacts that supported their biographies.
The group were then given the rare chance to visit the archive storage room at the Museum to see how the vast collection of records are preserved, with visitors encouraged throughout the evening to ask questions which were seamlessly answered by the curatorial team and proved to be a most informative experience for all in attendance.
One visitor said, “Having visited the Army Flying Museum many times in recent years, this was a fantastic opportunity to look behind the scenes. The Museum has such an impressive collection on display and delving into the archives revealed just how much work goes into researching and compiling the stories we see today throughout the hangars.”
The next event is due to take place on 28 September and will focus on Glider Pilots in Sicily and North Africa and can be booked via the Museum website at www.armyflying.com.
The Museum offers a range of services from the Archive from research visits to transcription services. More information can be found on their website at https://armyflying.com/the-collections/the-archive/archive-services/