Hurricane and Spitfire Museum, Manston, Kent, England

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We are in England now, in the Thanet region of Kent in the south-east, cradled in the care of my English “family”.  We can slow down, spread out, laze around and chat and eat; and even try to catch up on the blog (that didn’t work).

 

Nevertheless, we are not entirely over sightseeing, and today we head for the Hurricane and Spitfire museum near Manston airport.  (Manston airport is also known as Kent International airport now).

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I am keen to see this museum,  not only because of a fascination with the aircraft, but also because I recently read a novel by Australian author Justin Sheedy, called ‘Nor The Years Condemn’, which traces the story of a young Australian university student who joined the Empire Air Training scheme in 1940 in order to fight for Britain in WWII.  Flying Hurricanes and Spitfires and running sorties out of Manston are some of the experiences brought to life in the book.  I can recommend it as a well researched and absorbing yarn written with a strong Australian voice.
The high casualty count is also evident throughout the book, and this is referenced in a most poignant way at this museum.  There is a display of the last bird’s nest removed from the derelict Spitfire during restoration.  The placard talks about young birds flying the nest …………..
The museum has both a complete Hurricane and Spitfire on display, as well as many bits and pieces of aircraft and all manner of other memorabilia relating to Britain’s air struggles of WWII.  Many items have been donated by locals of Kent, who were badly affected by Luftwaffe strikes across the channel.  It is not just a museum for aircraft buffs, there were several families there on the day, reliving the experiences that their parents and grandparents had told them of living though those years.
Monday 12th August 2013, Garrulous Gwendoline, Manston, Kent, England
Hurricane

Hurricane

Hurricane

Hurricane

Hurricane

Hurricane

Hurricane cockpit

Hurricane cockpit

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Spitfire

Spitfire

Spitfire

Spitfire

Spitfire

Spitfire

Spitfire

Spitfire

 

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