With only 20 days to go until we have access to our new home, our current location is looking more like a storage warehouse than a Museum. Almost all of the displays have now been taken down and packed and the large graphic structures which housed cases and gave information have also begun to be dismantled.
A lot of the packing has been done over the past few months by our dedicated team of volunteers. However, there are a lot of items which need a more specialised approach. Staff from Specialist Packers started working at the Museum two weeks ago and have been able to deal with some of our more awkward items, such as missiles and mannequins.
We are almost ready to start moving things to our new home. So far everything is on schedule and we will be picking up the keys on the 28th September. Not long to go!
Some of our items are already waiting in Lyneham. The biggest item to be moved over the last couple of weeks has been our Scout helicopter. This couldn’t have been done without the help of REME Recovery Mechanics, members of the Joint Aircraft Recovery and Transportation Squadron (JARTS), and Babcock Technicians. The move of the Scout took the whole day, starting with it being brought down from the plinth, then wheeled up a road with a police escort and finally put onto a low loader for transfer to Lyneham.
A video showing the move of the Scout throughout the day can be seen on You Tube: https://youtu.be/K8Lgn-8PTgI
The Scout isn’t the only larger item which we have been packing in recent weeks. In the Museum’s former Meeting Room there was a large model depicting the D-Day landings. This model was built in situ and had been in place for the past 20 years. It proved quite a challenge for staff and packers on how we were going to be able to take it apart so that we could put it back together again.
The model was divided into sections and photographs of these sections taken at multiple angles. Each section was then dismantled and put into marked bags showing where it came from.
The model will be back on show in Lyneham.
The next few weeks will see larger items and vehicles moved into our new hangar in Lyneham. From the 1st October, the rest of the collections will start being moved across with staff following behind.
Jennifer Allison – Curator