Tangmere Military Aviation Museum

Tangmere Military Aviation Museum Welcome to Tangmere Military Aviation Museum with stories and exhibits from the First World War to the Jet Age.

There are cockpits and simulators you can sit in and enjoy as well as a range of aircraft on display. Opening times: Last entry one hour before closing Mar to Oct 10am-5pm, (Feb and Nov 10am-4:30pm) 16 and under must be accompanied by an adult Closed December and January

Tangmere Military Aviation Museum will be at the D-Day event at Daedalus so come and visit us there

Tangmere Military Aviation Museum will be at the D-Day event at Daedalus so come and visit us there

Vulcan Restoration Trust

Vulcan Restoration Trust

We have a very exciting programme of events planned for 2019. So find that diary and grab a pen!

Please note some events will be ticket only and will be available via our website avrovulcan.com or via our event partner linked from the website.

The Visit the Vulcan Days are of course non advanced ticket and you just need to turn up and pay on the gate.

Saturday 23rd March 2019
Timeline Events - Sunset and Night Photoshoot of XL426

Sunday 28th April 2019
Visit the Vulcan Day

Saturday 11th May 2019
Secret Cinema at the Vulcan
Part of the Southend Film Festival 2019
(Film: James Bond, Goldfinger)

Saturday 18th May 2019
AGM and Members social afternoon with Guest Speaker (Col Rich Graham Retired USAF SR71 and Phantom Pilot) Location: Hawkwell Village Hall

Sunday 16th June 2019
Visit the Vulcan Day - Father’s Day!

Saturday 13th July 2019
Proms at the Vulcan with the Essex Concert Orchestra

Sunday 18th August 2019
Visit the Vulcan Day

Sunday 22nd September 2019
Visit the Vulcan Day

Saturday 19th October 2019
1940’s-1950’s Hangar Dance with the Sid Bolan Big Band

Saturday 30th November 2019
The Christmas Event (Speaker to be confirmed) Location: Hawkwell Village Hall

For further information please see the Events page on our website avrovulcan.com

The tickets for some events are not currently available and will be coming soon.

Tangmere Sector Modellers IPMS

Tangmere Sector Modellers IPMS

Its arrived! A fantastic display cabinet for the club at our home base: Tangmere Military Aviation Museum.

Sponsored by IPMS(UK). IPMS (UK) - 'The Workbench'

The display will mainly feature Tangmere related builds to support and promote the museum and also the this great hobby and the work the IPMS do to encourage new participants.

The display is work in progress with signage and more models to be added over the next couple of weeks. It can be seen when the museum opens next saturday (2nd february).

We are honoured the the museum have agreed to have the cabinet and support the club in its endevours, especially Scale Model Show at Tangmere Military Aviation Museum #04.05.19, whixh we will have some.exciting updates about very soon.

So please come and visit this gem of a museum and the work the club is doing with them.

Vulcan Restoration Trust

Vulcan Restoration Trust

Hopefully you haven’t forgotten that it’s our fourth and last for 2018 Visit the Vulcan Day this Sunday?? Of course you haven’t!!

We have attending a full scale replica Spitfire Mk2 representing RAF Rochford now LSA for the ‘Battle of Britain Day’ commemorations.

RAF 1940 re-enactors will be with the Spitfire representing RAF Rochford and ‘Battle of Britain Day’

Music provided by the Essex Yeomanry Brass Band

Shoeburyness and South Essex Royal Artillery Association with their gun and support vehicle.

10th Essex WW1 re-enactors group will be attending with their encampment marking the end of 1914-1918 ‘Great War’

Also “Motion Picture Motors” will be attending with 20 famous cars!

Southend Radio Control Flying Club with 15 large RC scale models.

IPMS-plastic aircraft model kit makers with a selection of their work.

Plus our usual lineup of vendors:
Hoppily Micro Brewery
Ice cream and doughnut kiosk
Children’s face painter
Burger and hotdog stall

The gate will be open just before 10:00, open till 16:00.

Aircraft Restoration Company

Aircraft Restoration Company

What an incredible weekend at The Goodwood Revival !

We are very proud to bring home 2nd place for the Lizzie and 3rd place for the Blenheim in this year's Freddie March Spirit of Aviation Concours and would like to extend a huge, heartfelt congratulations to Sarah Hanna and the rest of the MH434 team for the very well deserved 1st place!

Thank you to everyone who came to see us in the Freddie March arena over the three days! There will be some photos to drop later in the week but for now we just thought we'd try and distract you from any Monday blues with this short clip we captured of the Lizzie on her way down to Goodwood Aviation Airfield on Thursday afternoon... Enjoy!


The team is at Goodwood Revival with the Canberra and Hunter cockpits and a display of artefacts. We had plenty of visit...

The team is at Goodwood Revival with the Canberra and Hunter cockpits and a display of artefacts. We had plenty of visitors today (Saturday) and will be there on Sunday so why not pop along, see our displays and find out what the Museum is all about!



The car park at the museum is being upgraded and relaid. This will inevitably cause some inconvenience. However, the alternative car park is fully functional and is entered by the airfield gate, not the Museum gate. Please follow the signs for parking. The entry route into the museum will change as the work progresses but will be well signposted. There will be limited access to the outside aircraft but we hope that this will not spoil your enjoyment.


The Museum’s summer exhibition, ‘Tangmere and the SOE’, was officially opened on the 21 July by James Vaughan-Fowler, the son of Peter, the famous Special Duties pick-up pilot. Some 60 relatives of other pick-up pilots also attended with special guests; Stanley David, an SOE dispatcher and Fred Bailey, an SOE wireless operator with the one of the 1944 Jedburgh teams, who later served in Burma and had to be evacuated by a Lysander from a jungle strip. Rupert and Robin, the sons of Wing Commander Leonard Ratcliff, a No 161 Squadron Special Duties pilot, whom in 1944 commanded the Lysander flight at Tangmere, presented to the Museum their father’s Irvine flying jacket he wore whilst on SD operations. A week after the exhibition opened the Museum and Chichester Cinema at New Park held a joint event in which the famous film ‘Carve her Name With Pride’ about the wartime life of Violette Szabo was screened. Prior to the showing of the film two talks were given to a packed audience, one by Tania Szabo about her mother and the other by the Museum’s Director Dudley Hooley on the No 161 Squadron pick-up pilots.
The exhibition closed on Sunday 2 September. During the six weeks of opening it had been well attended and received, many of its 2,000 visitors deciding to see the exhibition after viewing our recently acquired full sized Westland Special Duties Lysander aircraft, displayed in the Museum’s Merston Hall. Also well received was the exhibition’s programme of talks and demonstrations which commenced on 2 August with Martyn Bell, a good friend of the Museum and the current Mayor of Chichester, giving a very interesting and informative talk on Jean Moulin, de Gaulle’s representative within the French Resistance. On the 9 August (repeated on the last day of the exhibition), the Museum’s Pete Pitman provided his audience with his excellent talk on ‘Tangmere and the SOE’. Further exhibition talks included Dudley Hooley on ‘Jimmy ‘Mac’ McCairns’ and ‘Noor Inayat Khan’, Rosemary Coxon on ‘Operation Anthropoid’ and Dr Andrew Smith of Chichester University on ‘Resistance and the Free French’. Many of the talks attracted a ‘full-house’. The Museum is particularly grateful to visiting speakers Martyn and Andrew who gave up their time to support the exhibition.
On the first two weekends of the exhibition espionage equipment used by the SOE was demonstrated by a local Living History Group called the ‘Baker Street Boys’, dressed as members of the French Resistance. They showed our visitors the ingenious and deadly devices used by the SOE to carry out Churchill’s famous order to “Set Europe Ablaze”. On Sunday 5 August four ‘trainee agents’ and one ‘conducting officer’ from the recent BBC documentary series ’Secret Agent: WW2’ visited the Museum and answered questions on how during the filming they had managed the training undertaken by the real SOE agents in the Second World War. Fred Bailey again attended and answered questions from the public on being a member of the SOE.
In conclusion, a well-attended and successful exhibition with an excellent programme of talks and demonstrations that provided more information to our visitors on the important role RAF Tangmere and the SOE played in the Second World War.

The Battle of Britain Historical Timeline

The Battle of Britain Historical Timeline

During an action near Southampton on 16 August 1940, Flight Lieutenant James Nicolson was wounded when his Hurricane was attacked by a Messerschmitt Bf 110. Despite his cockpit being on fire, he attacked and shot down another German fighter, suffering serious burns before bailing out. For his actions he became Fighter Command’s only recipient of the Victoria Cross during the Second World War.

The announcement and accompanying citation for the decoration was published in supplement to the London Gazette on 15 November 1940, reading:

Air Ministry, 15 November 1940.

The KING has been graciously pleased to confer the Victoria Cross on the undermentioned officer in recognition of most conspicuous bravery : —

Flight Lieutenant James Brindley NICOLSON (39329) — No. 249 Squadron.

During an engagement with the enemy near Southampton on 16th August 1940, Flight Lieutenant Nicolson's aircraft was hit by four cannon shells, two of which wounded him whilst another set fire to the gravity tank. When about to abandon his aircraft owing to flames in the cockpit he sighted an enemy fighter. This he attacked and shot down, although as a result of staying in his burning aircraft he sustained serious burns to his hands, face, neck and legs. Flight Lieutenant Nicolson has always displayed great enthusiasm for air fighting and this incident shows that he possesses courage and determination of a high order. By continuing to engage the enemy after he had been wounded and his aircraft set on fire, he displayed exceptional gallantry and disregard for the safety of his own life.

Vulcan Restoration Trust

Vulcan Restoration Trust

Only days to go till our August Visit the Vulcan Day on Sunday the 19th. Lots to see not just the mighty Vulcan XL426!

* Blackburn Buccaneer S2 XZ431
* EE Canberra T4 XH584
* Hawker Hunter F1 WT684
* Vickers Valletta C2 WJ476
* McDonnell Douglas Phantom F4
* Handley Page Jetstream T2

2 Green Goddess Fire Engines
1 Dennis Sabre Fire Engine
1 Volvo FL Fire Engine

The East Anglia Kawasaki Vulcan rides (10 motorcycle static display)

Thundersely Brass Band

Southend Radio Control Flying Club (15-20 scale models)

*Hoppily Micro Brewery distributors
*Chang’s Icecream and doughnut kiosk
*Biltong Burger Stall
*Elliptical photography stall
*Children's face painter
*LSA Holiday Inn promotion stand

RAF Typhoon Display Team are based at LSA this weekend with 2 Typhoon FGR.4s (hopefully will see 1 or 2 departures by them)

RAF Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, Lancaster flypast at 14:06
(BBMF are NOT based at LSA this weekend)

Caroline Dinenage

Caroline Dinenage

Tomorrow, following their spectacular Cowes week display, at 7.30pm the Red Arrows will be completing a smoke fly over the Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth who will be formed in an arrowhead formation in the Solent - there should be great views from Stokes Bay!

Vulcan Restoration Trust

Vulcan Restoration Trust

Only two weeks to go till our next Visit the Vulcan Day. Sunday 19th August gate opens at 10:00. We will have a selection of visiting cockpit sections, vehicles and a Flypast by the BBMF Avro Lancaster. Normal serviceability and weather limitations apply of course, fingers crossed.


During the exhibition there will be a number of talks and demonstrations on Tangmere and the SOE. The illustrated talks will be given in the Neville Duke Hall and the demonstrations will be given by the Museum’s recently acquired Lysander replica aircraft. The talks will be limited to 30 persons – for the evening talks on 9 and 16 August, to request a seat please contact David Coxon by e-mail on [email protected]

Thursday 2 August 1400
Jean Moulin (Resistance leader) Martyn Bell

Saturday and Sunday 4 and 5 August
Between 1100 and 1500
Demonstrations on the work of SOE agents Bryan Warnett

Thursday 9 August 1930 (Evening talk)
Tangmere and the SOE Pete Pitman

Saturday and Sunday 11 and 12 August
Between 1100 and 1500
Demonstrations on the work of SOE agents Bryan Warnett

Thursday 16 August 1830 (Evening talk)
Jimmy ‘Mac’ McCairns (Spitfire and SOE pick-up pilot) Dudley Hooley

Sunday 19 August 1400 Operation Anthropoid (assassination of Reinhard Heydrich) Rosemary Coxon
Jimmy ‘Mac’ McCairns (Spitfire and SOE pick-up pilot) Dudley Hooley

Thursday 23 August 1400
Noor Inayat Khan (SOE agent) John Gradwell

Tuesday 28 August 1400
Resistance and the Free French Dr Andrew Smith (Chichester University)

Sunday 2 September 1400
Tangmere and the SOE Pete Pitman

MUSEUM SOE EXHIBITION TALKS AND DEMONSTRATIONSA six week exhibition on ‘Tangmere and the Special Operations Executive ...
Welcome to Tangmere Military Aviation Museum

A six week exhibition on ‘Tangmere and the Special Operations Executive (SOE)’ opened at Tangmere Military Aviation Museum on Saturday 21 July. During the exhibition there will be a number of talks on the RAF pick-up pilots who flew secret agents to and from RAF Tangmere at night to fields in France and on the lives and work of the agents themselves.
The programme of illustrated talks commence on the afternoon of the 2 August when the Mayor of Chichester, Councillor Martyn Bell, will give a talk on Jean Moulin, a French Resistance leader. Dudley Hooley, Director of the Museum, will give a talk on the life of Jimmy ‘Mac’ McCairns, a Spitfire pilot who flew in Douglas Bader’s Tangmere Wing in 1941 and who later in the war became one of the most successful Lysander pick-up pilots. Other talks include Pete Pitman speaking on RAF Tangmere’s role in support of the SOE, Dr Andrew Smith of Chichester University on ‘Resistance and the Free French’ and Rosemary Coxon on Operation Anthropoid, the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich. Museum volunteer John Gradwell will give a talk on SOE wireless operator Noor Inayat Khan. On two weekends during the exhibition demonstrations by SOE agent re-enactors will take place alongside the Museum’s latest acquisition, a full size replica of a Westland Lysander aircraft, of the equipment used by the SOE operatives to carry out their clandestine operations.
Entry to the exhibition talks and demonstrations is included in the Museum’s normal entry prices. More information on dates and times of the talks and demonstrations can be found on the Museum’s website www.tangmere-museum.org.uk

Another Lysander being restored, hopefully to fly

Another Lysander being restored, hopefully to fly

With engine runs getting ever closer, we felt that it's about time we brought you up to speed on all things Lizzie! ...

An in-house project that has been bubbling away in the background for many years, the Lysander has now taken shape and is only a few corners away from the finishing straight of her long, meticulous restoration.

Bringing you up to speed on this project actually ended up taking us on a journey of our own all around ARCo, from Building 66 to see the legendary 'tin basher' John 'Smudge' Smith, to the machine shop to find out what the team in there had been producing using our Hurco Companies Inc. CNC milling machine.

With the paint now fully applied, and the codes on, we just have the last few bits of systemising left to complete before it'll be time for Lizzie to roll out of the hangar doors and burble into life once more!




In 1944, Bob Allen flew typhoons from Tangmere across the channel to attack German defences in Normandy in preparation for D Day.

In her book 'No Ordinary Pilot' Suzanne Campbell-Jones tells the story of how her father was shot down behind enemy lines and became a prisoner of war in the notorious Stalag Luft 3.

Her talk about her father in the Museums Neville Duke Hall is at 12.30 on Wednesday the 21th November. Entry to the talk is included in the normal admission charge to the Museum but seating is limited. To book a place please e-mail Charles Hutcheon at [email protected]

After a successful premier in Brighton 'Love in the Harbour' moves to Chichester. Don't miss this fascinating drama

After a successful premier in Brighton 'Love in the Harbour' moves to Chichester. Don't miss this fascinating drama


Come and visit our 6 week summer exhibition on Tangmere and the Special Operations Executive (SOE) from Saturday 21 July until Sunday 2 September, excluding Sunday 26 August (the Museum’s Family Day).
The exhibition will be held in the Museum’s Neville Duke Hall and will open daily from 1100 until 1600 hours. Entry to the exhibition is included in the normal Museum.
We will be including the following in the exhibition:-
• The SOE careers of women agents who flew from RAF Tangmere
• Information on lesser known but important RAF Special Duties (SD) Pick-Up pilots who flew Westland Lysanders from Tangmere
• A film on the recruitment and training of SOE agents
• The Comèt Belgian and French Resistance escape line
• A series of talks on Tangmere and the SOE during the exhibition
• Demonstrations on certain days on how SOE agents carried out sabotage to “Set Europe Ablaze” (Churchill’s mission for the SOE)
• In the Museum’s Middle Hall, a new exhibition on Wing Commander Leonard Ratcliff, a famous No 161 Squadron Special Duties pilot
• Code writing and other activities for children
Come and see the Museum’s latest acquisition, a full size replica of a Special Duties Westland Lysander aircraft as used by No 161 Squadron during the Second World War to transport agents and French Resistance members from RAF Tangmere on moonlight nights to and from fields in France.
Also, on Saturday 28 July at 1515, in association with the Chichester Cinema at New Park, the cinema is showing the film ‘Carve Her Name With Pride’ about the life of Violette Szabo, a famous SOE agent. At this event the Museum’s Director, Dudley Hooley will also give a short talk on Tangmere’s Lysander Pick-Up pilots.


Gamecock Terrace Tangmere
PO20 2ES

Opening Hours

Monday 10:00 - 16:30
Tuesday 10:00 - 16:30
Wednesday 10:00 - 16:30
Thursday 10:00 - 16:30
Friday 10:00 - 16:30
Saturday 10:00 - 16:30
Sunday 10:00 - 16:30




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