Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Weekend Break, Day Two....

After a good night's sleep and a hearty breakfast we boarded the coach for our first visit of day two to the Museum at RAF Hendon.

We were greeted on our arrival with a short talk by a curator of the museum whilst enjoying a coffee and some biscuits in Wings Restaurant before entering the museum itself.

RAF Museum London has a world-class collection and display of aircraft in several interactive exhibitions.  The film and sound collection has some seven millioin feet of film dating from the pioneering days of aviation to the present day and the photograph collection contains about 250,000 images.  The fine art collection is arguably the best collection of military aviation artwork in the UK and represents the people, aircraft, equipment and 'Service Life' of the RAF.  The medal collection encompasses all orders, decorations and medals and compliments the uniform collection, which is particularly strong on the First and Second World Wars.

We started our tour of the Museum in the Grahame-White Factory, which houses the oldest aircraft in the collection.  Claude Grahame White was born in Bursledon, Hampwhite in 1879.  In 1909 he learned to fly in France, and became one of the first Englishmen to qualify as a pilot. In 1911 he established a teaching school at Hendon, which quickly became Hendon Aerodrome. The Aerodrome was lent to the Admiralty (1916), and eventually taken over by the RAF in 1919. Grahame White's aerodrome was purchased by the RAF in 1925.  Our tour took us through the Milestones of Flight, Bomber Hall and Battle of Britain Hall hangars.  It was wonderful to see how far we have come in just 100 years from the early aircraft

to the present day Eurofighter.

There was lots to see and we took plenty of photographs, which I have put together in the slide show below.

After another complimentary coffee and biscuits we were back on the road to our next stop Alexandra Palace, or Ally Pally as it is fondly known, where we spent the afternoon as guests of Tourism South East at their Excusions 2011 Exhibition, after receiving a goody bag and refreshments of tea/coffee and biscuits.

This exhibition is held annually in support of the group travel industry and offers visitors the opportunity to gather information to plan future days out, short breaks and stays. The exhibition allows face to face communication with over 200 exhibitors including attractions, destinations and accommodation providers from across the UK, Ireland and Europe. Our tour operator, Ellen Smith Ltd, wanted our views on what was on offer to enable them to put together tours and visits to places that interest their customers, so our quest was to collect information/leaflets on places that interested us to pass on to the tour manager. It was all very interesting and we collected a whole bag full of leaflets for Lesley, the tour manager, before grabbing a sandwich for lunch and as there was a bar we had a pint too!

Our next stop was our hotel for the night which was the Ramada Guilford at Leatherhead and it was so lovely we took a photo the following morning before we left.

We enjoyed a scrumptious evening meal with a glass of wine and then a leisurely stroll down to the pub about 20 yards away for couple of drinks before retiring for the night.

We passed a very interesting gatehouse on the way to the pub, which we found out is the entrance to Horsely Towers, a grand Victorian mansion built in 1828 with an ornate classical chapel, wonderful four-poster beds and Great Hall.   Horsley Towers is available for hire for conferences and wedding receptions etc.

I hope you'll join me for the final leg of our journey. 


Flowerpot said...

Pip would have loved that museum.

Valerie said...

Hubs would like the visit to Hendon. He said to say thanks for showing the pictures. I told him we aim to please.....

Elaine said...

Love the pictures!

You're certainly making the most of your retirement. I wanna be just like you one day :)

Maggie May said...

Certainly these trips cover some very different subjects and you get to see life in many forms.
The photos are very informative. How did that early aircraft ever take off? Glad I wasn't in it!
Maggie X

Nuts in May

R. J. said...

We visited the RAF Museum at Hendon when we were in your country. We were very impressed and my son who has a history minor really enjoyed the experience. He had written a long research paper on aircraft of WWII so this was his cup of tea. We have fond memories and lots of photos.

Finding Pam said...

Loved the tour of your trek. Beautiful places and things to look at.

Ron said...

AWESOME pictorial tour, Akelamalu!

I'm looking at that photo of the earlier aircraft and thinking to myself (with my fear of flying), "OH. MY. GOD....I don't know if I could have gone up in one of those things!!!" HA!

You're hotel looked fabulous. So quaint and cozy!

And the Horsely Towers looks like a little castle!

Thank you for sharing, m'dear! I always so enjoy reading about your jaunts!

Looking forward to next post!

Have wonderful day....X

Akelamalu said...

I'm sure he would Flowerpotx

I'm pleased your hubby enjoyed the pics Valerie. Hope he gets to Hendon to see the place for himself. :)

Retirement ROCKS Laney. I hope when your time comes you enjoyed it as much as I do. x

The trips are great Maggie because there is so much packed into them. I know what you mean about the early aircraft, scary aren't they? :0

It's nice to hear that visitors from overseas enjoyed RAF Hendon too RJJ and it's great that it helped your son with his research paper!

Glad you enjoyed the pics Pam :)

Those early aircraft were definitely NOT for the faint hearted Ron LOL. Glad you enjoyed our trip. x

Mike Golch said...

thanks for taking me along with you on the visit to the museum.

Julia Smith said...

I think it's great that England works hard to encourage tourism for its own residents. You can't always afford to go away, but look what's right there in your own backyard.

Mama Zen said...

I love the planes! I find them fascinating.

Jinksy said...

I'd fancy a gate house like that! LOL

secret agent woman said...

Sounds like a good time. Especially the scrumptious dinner and wine bit!

Travis Cody said...

I love a good air museum, and this seems to be a good one from your photographs.

Empress Bee (of the High Sea) said...

wow the mansion is lovely! hope you had a wonderful time honey.

smiles, bee

Quilly said...

Your trip posts always leave me torn. I am thrilled to see everything you are sharing, yet I am so jealous I am looking at all the photos through crossed-eyes! ;)

Cloudia said...

What a GREAT outing!!

Loved your slide show. WOW!

Aloha from Honolulu
Comfort Spiral



tony said...

My Uncle Gordon was based there for a time while he was in the RAF.!A lovely part of the world.Enjoy!

A Lady's Life said...

very nice pics and mansions I loved the airplanes too.
Too bad they don't fly them anymore for people to see. :)

Casdok said...

You must have passed me!
An interesting trip.

Spiky Zora Jones said...

akelamalu: you bet I'll tag along on your journey. It's awesome and the photos...England is so beautiful. So much like the Pacific Northwest.

more please...where ae we going next. hehehe...I said "We."

later honey. xxx

Akelamalu said...

You're welcome Mike

We do have a lot of history in the UK Julia and the nice thing is we can enjoy it as well as tourists. :)

Glad you liked them Mama Zen

Me too Jinksy and the huge castle to go with it.

Oh yes SAW that was the best bit!

You'd love it Trav

That is just the gatehouse Bee, you should see the castle!

Sorry to put you in a quandry Quilly, maybe some day you will see it all for yourself. x

So pleased you enjoyed it Cloudia x

It truly is a lovely part of the world Tony :)

I think theyh do fly some of them at airshows Lady's Life

Ah that's your part of the world Casdok, how lucky are you?

I wish you could see it all for yourself Spiky, you would love it so much. x

Shrinky said...

oooh, we went to Hendon with my Father-in-Law, and he made it come alive for us with all his war stories (some happy, a lot sad). Thanks for bringing back some lovely memories (smile).

cheshire wife said...

Well I never! We stayed at the Ramada Guildford last year when we went to Wimbledon.

CrystalChick said...

Another fabulous trip! Looks like a very enjoyable weekend. Love the pictures! And the history of it all is so fascinating. Thanks for sharing.

Akelamalu said...

Having someone with you telling real life stories of the RAF would certainly make that museum come alive Shrinky - how wonderful for you!

Well it's a small world Cheshire Wife LOL Nice hotel isn't it?

It was a great trip Crystalchick, glad you enjoyed the pictures.

MarmiteToasty said...

wow the musuem looks brill.... I LOVE ally pally and was there back in Oct/Nov for a knitting and stitching show...


Akelamalu said...

It was my first visit to Ally Pally Marmie and I absolutely loved the place. I just wish the weather had been better so we could have walked round the gardens. :)