Parham Airfield Museum - 9th June 2015
Click to see photos in the Gallery
We left from Longwater Retail Park to go to Parham Airfield Museum near Framlingham by Minibus at 9:00. On arrival we were welcomed by some volunteers on a rare Open Day as they normally only open on Sundays most of the year, Bank Holiday Mondays and Wednesdays during June to August. We were shown through the Barrack Room inside the main entrance with beds, clothes rails and shower and into the Moller Building with a recently built Cafe and shop, which adjoins the two museums. While there we had a hot coffee or tea while our guides told us about the history of the two museums comprising of the 390th Bomb Group Memorial Air Museum and The Museum of the British Resistance Organisation -The Auxiliary Units and what we would see. We then had time to explore and ask questions separately while looking around.
Starting in the Museum of the British Resistance Organisation Nissan hut we saw exhibits ranging from WWI postcards to Home Guard and resistance weapons and explosives. Through a door in the back some of us visited a bunker which has been reconstructed to show what it was like to live in an underground hideout. There were a few mannequins with balaclavas and itchy jumpers and a hatch above for access (now a door opens at the front for the public) also bunk beds and stores for camping. Back in the museum I went through to a chapel which showed various soldier's and airmen's names on the wall.
Past the Barrack Room I then went into the Control Tower where the 390th Bomb Group Memorial Air Museum is housed. On the ground floor there are several large objects ranging from engines, aircraft wheels, models and parts from a Lancaster from Number 617 Sqn. On the next floor there are several rooms containing radios, memorabilia, a model of a B-17, which on some days operates with the engines going round and a recording of a B17. Outside along a balcony you can climb up into the main part of the control tower where there is a diorama showing the runway, and various buildings and aircraft stands and a telephone desk near the diorama. You could just imagine the roar and sight of the aircraft. Just before lunch we went back to the cafe and thanked our guides for a wonderful and interesting morning and gave each a club mug.
We then all got back into the minibus and went to Little Glenham and had our lunch at The Lion Inn. They did excellent food and a wide choice of drink. I think they were pleased to see us and couldn't have been more helpful. We then headed home.
Many thanks go to the museum staff for opening their museums especially for us, The Lion Inn and Peter Wood for driving and organising this event.

Andrew Elphick

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