Saturday, July 02, 2011

RAF Cosford

This weekend Steve and I did something completely not-wedding-related. We went to RAF Cosford, a RAF museum in Shropshire.

Getting there was an adventure in itself. We decided to invite our twitterfriend @gentlechaos along and offered to give her a lift. This meant fitting three adults and two wheelchairs, plus all the other "stuff" we were each bringing along for a daytrip, safely and legally and comfortably enough for a 25-mile journey, into a three-door fiat Punto. It was a little bit on the tricky side, but we managed really quite well.

packed in

We also met up with one of Steve's friends who was able to give me a few more photos from the wedding. That was great, but the best bit of it was going around in a group of four like that - two walking and two wheelchair users. It was a wonderfully normalising experience as it meant none of us were the odd one out.

Being an airfield, Cosford starts off ahead of the game on wheelchair access. It's a huge flattish self-contained area and the buildings are huge aircraft hangars with lovely smooth flat floors that are a positive delight to move along. However, to make it even better, they have a small fleet (possibly a fleetlet?) of mobility scooters and a few manual wheelchairs available for no charge. There's also no charge for entry, although there is a small car parking fee (even for blue badge holders) of £3 per car.

There's a brilliant hands-on area with lots of little gadgets and gizmos that demonstrate, and allow visitors to experiment with, the principles used in different types of aircraft. It's allegedly for kids, but most of the people playing with appreciating the demonstrative devices were 5ft or taller.

The Cold War exhibition is particularly striking, with aircraft suspended from the ceilings in a very dramatic (and slightly unnerving) fashion.

Like most museums, there's far too much information to absorb on a single visit, which is a shame because by the time we next go back I'll have probably forgotten most of what I did pick up. On the other hand, it means we'll be able to go back without it being repetitive or boring, even if the exhibits themselves haven't changed.


evilstevie said...

See, loads more room in the front of the Punto ;)
On a more entertaining note, at least the playing of Tetris was not wasted - the only spare space in the car was above other stuff or people...

Pxy said...

I worked on quite a few of the middle-of-the-job drawings for RAF Cosford, and I can assure you that the accessibility was no accident; bear in mind the old soldiers/pilots that visit it. It also meant I got to geek out on the planes too!

Mary said...

Oooh! yes, that would make sense. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Really enjoyed the day out. Can confirm that there was plenty of space in the car. Access to exhibits well thought out. Only the flight simulator that caused me to think twice: steps up to this.