We’d been planning it for a good few weeks, a surprise family trip to Duxford for my Dad to go and visit the Imperial War Museum.
He likes planes, and so for his 50th we got him an experience to fly in a Tiger Moth plane, he bloody loved it. So when he turned 60 last year, getting him tickets to go see Motown the Musical, again – though he loved it, it didn’t quite feel like a big enough gesture. So as Father’s Day was the next biggest event just for him, we all decided to do something more plane related again.
We all met at the museum last Saturday and he said that until the woman on the satnav announced that they had almost arrived at their destination – The Imperial War Museum – he’d had no idea where it was Mum was taking him or that we would be there when he got there. My dad is not one for really showing his emotions, but there was a definite smile and we all knew what it meant to him.
The place is huge and there is so much to see, you really do need a whole day – as in from opening at 10am to close at 6pm. Dan and I didn’t have that luxury as we can’t leave Mike for that long, so only had a couple of hours to get in as much as we could, the others could meander all they wanted after we had left.
We headed straight to the Concorde as this was open for a walk through:
And then headed to the land vehicle section where all the tanks were:
Just before we left, we all gathered to give Dad the second part of his present, to this his response was, “Why am I always the one who has to be given things in front of an audience,” to which we of course took the mick, ‘Oh, why am I always the mug who has to be given presents!’ etc. etc. The wrapping didn’t help matters, mum had decided to do a pass-the-parcel type job with about six or seven layers of wrapping paper. But when he got to the actual gift, a one hour flight simulator experience to fly a Spitfire, he was his usual reserved amount of thrilled.But thrilled he was. We even got him a little Spitfire commemorative pin to remember the day with. Mission accomplished.
We were sad to leave as actually it was a fascinating place, I didn’t think I would be that bothered about seeing it, or not seeing it all, as the case was, but we were disappointed we didn’t get to see the rest of it or spend the day with my family as originally planned. Responsibilities.
A lovely touch was that since most of them would be coming past us on their way back home again from the museum, they were able to stop by and meet up for dinner where we could hear about the rest of their day.
I would recommend a visit to it, even if you’re not that bothered by planes and military stuff, the shop has some great stuff, like this bag. Beautiful design, huh!
Have you been? What was your favourite part? For me, out of the small part I saw, I’d have to say seeing the BOAC Comet. The luxury that this had meant once upon a time felt kinda special to see. It helped that there was a guide sat in the plane, talking to the visitors, who had actually flown on it as a child several times, which breathed life into the memory of this once-grand aircraft.
Until next time. x