Duxford Land Warfare Hall going?

Discussion in 'WW2 Museums. Events, & places to see.' started by Tunnies Terrain, Aug 18, 2020.

  1. Yesterday I visited Bovington Tank Museum and spoke to one of the people who work there. He told me that the Curator of Duxford wants to close the Land Warfare Hall, (The Tank Hall at the end of the airfield) and make the museum 'aircraft only' I am very shocked and upset at this and wonder if anyone on here has heard similar?

    I am more than happy to said a letter to those concerned to confirm this and pass on the information. If this turns out to be true is anyone on here willing to write, when I have confirmation, (if true), to lobby the curator?

    I will divulge I live 1 1/2 hours away from the museum which is relatively close for such a great museum but I have also been told many of the exhibits are not owned by the museum but by private owners so many of these items will not be simply moved elsewhere.
    Sheldrake and Chris C like this.
  2. Markyboy

    Markyboy Member

    I'll be honest and say I've been to Duxford many times and have only a very vague recollection of the land warfare hall. All the marketing seems squarely aimed at aviation and I can see why they'd eye up extra space for exhibits as that would be more of a draw (presumably) than Tanks. It's hardly the cheapest day out, and Duxford does have to compete with the RAF Museum in North London which is free.
  3. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    I always start at the Land Warfare hall. Some interesting bits & pieces there, and the site's so big many seem to miss it altogether as the museum fatigue has kicked in by then.

    Not heard anything. Will ask on Twatter.
  4. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    Deleted some strange posts.
    Land Warfare?..

    One chap on Twatter also heard it from a staff member there.
    Also thought maybe something to do with the Hotel/planning stuff from last year.
    Drew5233 likes this.
  5. Blutto

    Blutto Banned

    Perhaps someone might like to ring and ask them? I'm a bit far away and in a different time zone or I would.
  6. idler

    idler GeneralList

    From their FB 'About' page:

    So 'peace' is within Duxford's remit, but the greater part of the world wars isn't?

    In the the absence of any apparent plans, they should be made to offer their unwanted exhibits to other museums for nothing. I'm sure the RLC Museum might like some lorries, for example.

    I'm sure IWM can afford to put a bid in for Fort Paull's Beverley without flogging off all the good stuff...
  7. Ewen Scott

    Ewen Scott Well-Known Member

    There were rumours floating around about this a couple of years ago. Scrap the Land Warfare Hall and erect a new building for more aircraft. Apparently a lot of the vehicles were / are not owned by the IWM.

    This was all to be part of a “Master Plan”. Some details from over on ARRSE from that time with a link to a presentation about development of the site.

    The Future of IWM Duxford
  8. jonheyworth

    jonheyworth Senior Member

    A friend of mine bought the Sherman grizzly from there a while ago . Quite a bit is on loan
  9. hucks216

    hucks216 Member

    And the Flying Legends Airshow (although I appreciate that isn't the Land Warfare Hall) will no longer be taking place at Duxford, not just this year because of Covid but for good.
  10. Markyboy

    Markyboy Member

    Now that is a real shame! Easily my pick of the air show season.
  11. hucks216

    hucks216 Member

    This from one of the Duxford curators. It seems they see it as too niche.

  12. idler

    idler GeneralList

    But if it's 'become removed from its warbird origins', hasn't it already become 'less niche'? Surely they haven't made a decision and now have to find a reason for it?
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  13. Ewen Scott

    Ewen Scott Well-Known Member

    So it is a “war museum” but the rumours are that the Land Museum will be removed. What does that leave at Duxford? Nothing but aeroplanes. So surely that makes it an “aviation museum”?

    I would have thought that the air displays drew large crowds to spend money in the Museum shops. Nice to know they can do without that extra revenue.
    Chris C likes this.
  14. Robert-w

    Robert-w Banned

    And so it ceases to be the IWM and becomes the IWAM (Imperial War in the Air Museum)
    but Imperial has become very non PC and even the concept of museum is coming under attack as being exploitive and a remnant of a colonial past. Lets be honest it becomes WMMMA (Whatever Makes the Most Money Attraction)
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2020
  15. WATU

    WATU Member

    I heard this morning that the IWM Duxford Land Warfare Exhibition is to be "dispersed". Presumably the loan items returned to their owners? Anyone aware of anything current?
  16. idler

    idler GeneralList

  17. JimHerriot

    JimHerriot Ready for Anything

    Adieu mon vieux.













    And oh so much more.

    Kind regards, always,

  18. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake All over the place....

    The people to lobby are the Trustees of the Imperial War Museum. They are the custodians of much of our C20th military heritage and have a duty to look after some of the key artefacts from our history. The IWM should not simply be a heritage theme park.

    The last time I looked Duxford was the Imperial War Museum Duxford and not a museum of aviation heritage. Yup, it has a first class aircraft collection and supports flying events. It also houses much of the IWM's land warfare collection. Over the last decades IWM Kennington has been gutted in the cause of creating a dumbed down curated space that does not overwhelm visitors with exhibits. We were assured that the kit that used to be in Kennington - Montgomery's M3 tank, the Old Bill bus, the Jagdpanther etc could be seen at Duxford.

    If the IWM close the Land warfare galleries where do the exhibits go wherre visitors can see them? The Royal Artillery failed to find a home in other museums for their collections after the closure of Firepower. There is no obvious place for a museum of land warfare. Other MOD land is up for disposal for housing of one sore or another.

    This ought to be raised with the All Party War Heritage Group ads well as the IWM.
  19. Trackfrower

    Trackfrower Member

    New broom, new ideas (no idea).
    Obviously one of those who does not want the pubic to spoil their museum!
    Maybe they want to sell it for housing?
    Marshalls have
  20. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    I find it quite interesting the Land Warfare Hall was only built in 1992, and jazzed up with the restoration bit in 2000.
    (Overall site heritage report. Quite good. Opens to .pdf https://www.scambs.gov.uk/media/8204/duxford-airfield-without-maps.pdf )
    I'm sure there were vehicles on site when I was a kid, but it appears they were only concentrated into the LWH's Stygian gloom in that period.

    Staring at planning stuff, the hotel is going in by the main entrance so doesn't appear to have a direct impact (other than perhaps as an indicator of the museum's 'culture' & general direction of travel...)

    Wonder if the rumoured 'donation' of c.50 vehicles to the Pima museum in the US is connected. They made a very interesting statement on it in 2021, though it's also sort of interesting that a lot of discussion re. that appears to have been deleted by various sites.

    Warbird Information Exchange • View topic - Pima expansion

    "Macro artifacts"...

    TBH, spending a couple of hours mooching around the IWM's publicly accessible planning and policy documentary trail is pretty depressing.
    Fully appreciate the difficulties of 100+ years of accumulating 'stuff' doubtless comes with nightmare choices, but the impression given is of a 'higher-ups' institutional drift away from really caring about the stuff and a sustained focus on fashionable 'issues' type work.
    I feel for the more hands-on curators that appear to be somewhat sidelined in the bumf.

    Great site, great collection, though in a bad building. I can find zero planning stuff relating to any sort of replacement, lots on the struggle to store big things.
    Optimistically: Maybe there'll be some scattering of vehicles to UK museums.
    Cynically: Yeah... Maybe not so much.

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