The RAF Museum at Cosford has long been a favourite day out for my family, even though we’re not generally interested in flight or the RAF. The RAF museum has always been a place where history comes alive, through learning about the early planes of World War One, the great planes of World War Two, and then the more sinister planes and missiles that dominated the cold war and beyond.
The museum has recently reopened following the Covid 19 pandemic, and this means, as with everything, that changes have been made. One hanger is currently closed to the public, and some interactive spaces are currently closed. The cafe is open for takeaway, but there is an indoor seating area to eat foods and picnics if the weather turns. The gift shop has limited numbers for entry, but in general, the museum was lively and busy but with all the social distancing measures in place, and working well. I liked the humour in the signage. (See below).
The beauty of RAF Cosford is the sight of the planes, whether you are looking in wonder at the size of those that contained missiles, or wondering at the loneliness of the single pilot in World War One. All around the museum there are information boards that make the history come to life, and answer any questions you may have. Being able to get so close to the exhibits makes this a wonderful place for children to visit.
The second hanger contains the cold war exhibition, definitely my favourite part of the museum. It is definitely a case of look up, as plans are suspended in mid flight, and you can also find out about the history of the Cold War from boards and displays all around the hanger. There is even an actual piece of the Berlin Wall on display, as well as the cars of the period from the UK, Germany and Russia.
The missiles show the real scope of the devastation that the world was threatened with, whilst films and displays also show the opposition first from CND, and then from the Greenham Common women’s movement. There is an eerie feel to the displays in this hanger, and it is a great way to show how history can be exciting and interactive when done well.
RAF Museum at Cosford is free to enter, but you must pre book your tickets, and onsite parking is £5. It is definitely worth a visit.