Manx Aviation and Military Museum
Manx Aviation and Military Museum
Isle of Man
The Museum opened on the 11th November, 2000 to the delight of MAPSs' members and guests, and is the culmination of 6 years of hard work. The Museum is manned on a rota by volunteer members of the Society who have given up their free weekend time. The Museum is dedicated to the memory of those who served in a military capacity on the Island, together with those who left the Island to serve in the UK and overseas. In particular, we wish to remember and pay respect to those who lost their lives in and around the Island in over 200 flying accidents, and those who perished overseas. The eventual site selected for the Museum is a perfect choice for MAPS, because the building is not only based on the present day airfield, but was also constructed as part of the Fleet Air Arm (FAA) station in 1944. The Museum does not cover just military history, as a part of it is devoted to civil aviation in general, and is a fascinating story of local achievement in terms of both people and organisations. In addition to showing historical material we intend to celebrate the success of local enterprises with displays covering current aero-engineering and air transport of the Island. There were few Manx families which were unaffected in some way by one or both Wars and the Museum will remind present and future generations of their ancestor’s involvement. Many Manx people are commemorated on the Island’s war memorial, but we feel that the stories behind their names are worthy of record before the memories of their families and friends fall victim to time. The stories of their surviving comrades and those of the people left at home are equally worth of record. Through the display of gathered artefacts/memorabilia etc., MAPS hopes to convey the rich heritage of this part of the Island’s history for all to appreciate. We are always pleased to receive contact/support from people who wish to contribute to our growing knowledge of this important and absorbing subject.
TT and GP race weeks
Other times by prior arrangement
Group visits, such as by schools or legions, can also be arranged on weekdays or at night.
The three main exhibition rooms have been arranged to represent militaria, civil, and wartime aviation. There are also exhibits lining the walls of the corridors. As one wanders around looking a such objects as a Vickers machinegun and tripod, a Bren gun, mannequins in uniform, the history of aviation on the Isle of Man, models, wartime stories and facts, photographs and recovered aircraft crash parts etc., all protected behind toughened glass, wartime music is played. Apart from the entrance room and counter with books, videos and models for sale, there is a diorama of the Isle of Man hung on the wall showing wartime installations and markings of crash sites, a sponsors' Thank You board, a television and video playing topical videos, and other exhibits are scattered around the room. Visitors can sign the Guest Book and leave a donation if they desire, in a converted ammo box. If they have any artefacts which they would like to donate to the Society, they can do so at the counter, or they can loan any item to the Society for display. There are artefact donation and loan forms under the counter, just ask.
The opening of the extension to the Manx Aviation and Military Museum & transfer of Manx Regimental Association Museum took place on Saturday 7thMay 2005 in sunny but windy conditions at 11:00am.
Aviation, Weapons and War
Key artists and exhibits
- Vickers machinegun and tripod
- Bren gun
- Bofors 40mm AA gun