Culture24 Listings Pick: Reserve Collection Open Day, The Fleet Air Arm Museum, Yeovil, October 28 2010
Anyone who has had the good fortune to take a snoop around a museum's reserve collection knows the surprising treasures they contain.
Down in deepest Somerset, just across the road from the Naval Base RNAS Yeovilton, is a vast, climate-controlled hangar called Cobham Hall. If you're lucky enough to get inside you will find a magical space filled to the rafters with the Reserve Collection of the Fleet Air Arm Museum.
And what a collection. Cobham's immense interior holds more than 30 historic aircraft and boasts five miles of shelving, accommodating more than 30,000 artefacts.
You will encounter a collection of Westland Helicopters including a Whirlwind and a Wasp and the Gazelle helicopter in which The Duke of York learned to fly in. Other aircraft include a de Havilland Sea Vixen and the first swept wing jet aircraft to land on an aircraft carrier, a Supermarine 510.
Little wonder that when Cobham Hall opens to the public twice a year it attracts visitors from all over the UK to see this unique collection.
Runs 10am-4pm. Admission £4/£1.
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