Found just beside the northern stretch of the M25 near London Colney, the de Havilland museum celebrates one of Britain’s finest aircraft manufacturers.
The museum open in 1959, just 18 years after the Mosquito prototype (above) first flew from the grounds of Salisbury Hall, where de Havilland designers had moved to carry on designing and building the “Wooden Wonder”.
The museum celebrates all that was good about the company, from the bizarre C24 Autogiro to the magnificent DH110 Sea Vixen.
Aircraft were built at nearby Hatfield but Salisbury Hall continued to house the design team up until the mid 50’s.
The museum has recently renovated the original Mosquito, the prototype. On good days you will find her wheeled outside however we had at least three seasons in the few hours I spent at the museum so photographic opportunities were slightly hampered. I’m not complaining though.
You will also find Mosquito FB Mk VI undergoing restoration at the back of the hangar. The museum has recently launched an appeal for a new, larger, hangar to house other exhibits such as the last surviving example of a Comet 1A – the worlds first Jetliner.
There is a temporary building housing some smaller DH aircraft, such as the venerable Tiger Moth, the c24 Autogiro and the Vampire. You will also find a DH98 Dragon Rapide being restored to flying condition.
Overall the museum is small but worthy of a few hours meandering around the exhibits and reading the copious information around the walls and rooms of the many buildings at Salisbury Hall. I will return and soon.
Admission is just £10.00 per adult, including Gift Aid with year-long admission at £25.00 per adult (2016 prices).
I really wished I lived nearer as it’s the kind of place I could see myself volunteering at.
More information on the museum can be found on their website here.