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Imperial War Museum Duxford - Press Release

Imperial War Museum Duxford - Press Release

Revealing the new Historic Duxford exhibition

We’re delighted to announce the development of Historic Duxford, a new permanent exhibition at IWM Duxford that will open in spring 2013, and to give a first glimpse of some of the proposed designs for the exhibition.

Our Interpretation and Collections team are working with London-based MET Studio to design the exhibition and site trail. Formed in 1982, MET Studio has earned a reputation as one of themost creative and innovative experiential design companies in the world. It has worked with the Natural History Museum, the Science Museum, English Heritage and the National Army Museum, to name but a few of its high-profile clients.

Situated in the old Watch Office, opposite the Control Tower, the Historic Duxford exhibition will bring to life for visitors the history of Duxford during its time as an operational airfield, from 1918 to 1961.

We’ll be recreating in its exact location the original 1930s Watch Office, from which the duty pilot would record the activities of landing and departing aircraft. Atmospheric audio recordings and visual period details will give visitors a sense that they have travelled back in time and the duty officer has only just left the room.

For the first time, we’ll be telling the fascinating personal stories of the individual men and women who worked and lived on this busy RAF base.

Combining audio recordings, film, interactive models, trails and historic objects, we’ll be painting a vivid picture of daily life at RAF Duxford. Visitors can find out what it was like to serve in the Royal Air Force and how several generations ofmen and women were shaped by their experiences at RAF Duxford.

Through the personal testimonies of veterans who served at RAF Duxford, we’ll look at some of the big questions: What was it like to fly fromRAF Duxford? How did people cope with the stresses and strains of an often-dangerous job, particularly in wartime?

The displays will enable children and adults to understand famous events in IWM Duxford’s history from the perspective of the people who were there. They will also understand how events changed the physical development of RAF Duxford – including the ‘domestic site’ where people relaxed, ate and slept – as it was modernised, adapted and expanded.

After learning more in the exhibition, we hope that visitors will look with fresh eyes at the airfield and historic buildings that make up the unique atmosphere of the museum.

Complementing the Historic Duxford exhibition is a heritage trail with carefully-positioned structures that allow visitors to understand what happened in that exact spot at a key point in history.

Some of the trail structures will feature audio, allowing the veterans’ voices to speak to visitors from the exact places that they served. Others will allow a window on the past, using historic photographs from the IWM archives, together with photographs specifically gathered for this project, displayed in the positions that they were taken.

This is a fascinating opportunity for us to tell IWM Duxford’s own story – its eventful past, fascinating people and unique place in the community.

All images are copyright IWM.

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