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Tangmere’s military museum re-opens after winter break

Tomorrow marks the re-opening of the Tangmere Military Aviation Museum after its winter closure.


The museum reopens its doors to the public on Saturday, February 1, after its closure period for maintenance and improvements to exhibits.


Entry prices and opening times remain the same as last year and this year, to mark the 80th anniversary of the Battle of Britain, a temporary exhibition on Tangmere’s role in the battle is being curated that will run from May 10 until the end of October.


On Sunday, May 3, the museum will be holding its popular annual scale model day and the not to be missed family day will this year be on Sunday, August 2.


David Coxon, the museum’s deputy director, said: “One of the tasks undertaken by our engineers during the closed down period was to change the markings on the museum’s Lysander Mk III (special duties) full-size replica aircraft.


“The markings chosen are those of the Lysander that was normally flown by Flight Lieutenant Jimmy ‘Mac’ McCairns when he served with No 161 Squadron ‘A’ Flight during 1943.


“‘Mac’ flew from RAF Tangmere on clandestine night pick-up operations for the SOE and other intelligence agencies, achieved 25 successful missions and was awarded three Distinguished Flying Crosses during his 12 months at Tangmere.”


Last year, stars from a play showing at Chichester’s Festival Theatre attended the museum to learn more about the real-life characters they portrayed.


Rachael Stirling, daughter of Diana Rigg, played Susan Traherne, a former secret agent in David Hare’s Plenty, and starred alongside Rupert Young, who played one of the agents.


The two actors asked David about the full-size replica of a Westland Lysander aircraft and of equipment used by special operations executive (SOE) agents to carry out their clandestine operations.


The museum has also published a new children’s booklet on Billy Drake, a direct descendent of Sir Francis Drake and one of the Battle of Britain pilots who flew from RAF Tangmere in 1940.


More information on the museum can be found on the website, at: or by telephoning on 01243 790090.

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