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Flixton - Norfolk & Suffolk Aviation Museum
Norfolk & Suffolk Aviation Museum location
On the B1062 -off the A143 one mile west of Bungay
The Street, Flixton, Bungay,
Refreshments - Shop - Free Parking
APRIL TO OCTOBER
Sunday to Thursday 10.00am to 5.00pm (last admission 4.00pm)
NOVEMBER TO MARCH
Tuesday, Wednesday & Sunday 10.00am to 4.00pm (last admission 3.00pm)
15th DECEMBER TO 15th JANUARY - CLOSED
Home of East Anglia's Aviation Heritage Centre, the Norfolk and Suffolk Aviation Museum is recognized as East Anglia's Aviation Heritage Centre. Maintained and run by volunteers, with one paid staff member, the Museum celebrated its 30th Anniversary in 2002. Constituting an impressive collection of aircraft and equipment, the Museum also houses the Royal Observer Corps Museum, the 446th (H) Bomb Group Museum, the RAF Bomber Command Museum and the No 6 Group Air Sea Rescue & Coastal Command Museum. The Norfolk & Suffolk Aviation Museum is located on the B1062, 1 mile west of Bungay (the southern side of Norwich).
The idea for an aviation museum in the Bungay area was initially conceived by half a dozen local aviation enthusiasts, resulting in its establishment in 1972. East Anglia has long been home to pioneering movements in aviation, from WWII airfields to Stansted Airport where people use contemporary methods such as Fly.com to travel to Spain and global destinations far more easily than their historical predecessors. Following coverage in the local press, the first public meeting of The Norfolk and Suffolk Aviation Society was held early the following year, attracting 25 attendees. It was not until four years later that their efforts were finally put on view to the general public. The current museum has grown considerably since its official opening in 1976 - their first premises was a Nissen hut behind the Flixton Post Office. It soon became obvious that the Nissen hut could not be a permanent home, as in the first year alone, there were 5,500 visitors! Jim Patterson, an ex-World War One pilot, ran the Post Office at the time, and was as surprised as the rest of the Society at the interest shown. He understandably had reservations about so many people invading his back garden - it is said that he lost most of his lettuces that year under trampling feet.
After considering other sites for relocation (including Seething Control Tower, Tibenham and Ellough ), Andrew Gilham, then landlord of Flixton's local pub, The Buck, provided the solution. Andrew offered the use of two small meadows to the rear of the pub together with a barn. The offer was accepted, although much effort and hard work was needed to make the barn suitable for housing the displays and storage. The enthusiasm and spirit of the members ensured that the job was completed in time for the new facility to be opened to the public on 24th April 1975.
By 1978, the Society had changed its name to the Norfolk and Suffolk Aviation Museum (NSAM), had become a Limited Company, and had registered as a Charity. Wing Commander Ken Wallis, who developed the Wallis Autogyro, and built "Little Nellie" famously used by James Bond in "You Only Live Twice", agreed to become the Museum's President.
The Museum's collecting policy has always been - if it is available and we can both afford and accommodate it, we will have it. Aircraft and equipment, artifacts and records have been steadily acquired over the years by virtue of "keeping ears to the ground" and being very aware of what has been available. However, it has certainly not been a case of indiscriminate acquisition, as each aircraft or section of aircraft is first evaluated for suitability.
Museum Chairman Ian Hancock displays his own aircraft at Flixton, some aircraft are on loan, and some are bought by the Museum outright. Visitors give many items to the Museum. We are often asked how acquisitions are funded, as NSAM has never charged admission, relying instead on the contributions of the public when they visit. It is a measure of the success and appeal of the Museum that the public has always been generous enough to keep it going from year to year. Other sources of income include appeals and fundraising initiatives, open days and special events, corporate donations, and grants from Local Government and Europe. However, it must be recognised that without the time and effort, so freely and unstintingly given by members of the museum in the running and maintaining of the Museum, we would not have achieved what we have to date.
Events for 2007
1 April 2007
15 April 2007
22 April 2007
6 May 2007
13 May 2007
20 May 2007
3 June 2007
5 June 2007
10 June 2007
24 June 2007
5 August 5 2007
23 September 2007