View Full Version : Duxford and veterans

27th May 2004, 08:06
No doubt some here will have heard/seen on the news that Duxford wants to charge visiting D-Day veterans for attending the commemoration day at Duxford.

I hope that by emailing and ringing them we can make them change their minds.

May be some on this forum feel strongly enough about it to put fingers to the keyboard and do so or ring.

Further information here (http://www.pprune.org/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=131765) or email them at: [email protected].


27th May 2004, 15:57
This is stirring up a lot of interest here (in Private Flying and even in Jetblast), on the Flyer Forum, and elsewhere. Please send your emails and letters. I have been bombarding my friends and rellies with requests that they do likewise.

PPRuNe Pop
27th May 2004, 16:54
I have sent a very terse mail to the IWM about their mean mindedness and the fact that the term D-Day is not theirs to use to without consideration to those who 'created' the name. Charging the veterans is an absolute disgrace.

I urge everyone to complain bitterly to the IWM about these charges and to make a VIP enclosure for them. :mad:

28th May 2004, 07:11
What should really be asked is why the IWM have an entrance fee at Duxford. Afterall, the IWM in London is free, as is Hendon and Cosford.

28th May 2004, 07:24
An interesting point, which had not occurred to me before. THe IWM in London is in my opinion a very good example of modern Museum practice. Interactive, educational, strong on context, and very good overall. A far cry from the old days of dusty cabinets full of medals.

28th May 2004, 09:41
I can't believe that the authorities are intending to do this, the Airshow is surely about honouring these brave people. Asking them to pay to enter the event is an insult. I will be contacting Duxford .

28th May 2004, 09:43
most of these old geezers have more money than I do!!!

Edit: Well that is a few poorly chosen words. Ever thought that these 'geezers', as you call them, made this country the safe place it is now - for you.

You can delete this post. So can I - but I think I will let the good people on here tell you what a prat you are.

28th May 2004, 10:06
Having had a browse through the IWM site, it might be an idea to try using:

[email protected]

According to the IWM site, if you send an e-mail to that address, with the name of a member of staff in the subject line, said member of staff (or, presumably, their secretary) will deal with it .

It might be improper of me to give the name of the relevant member(s) of staff, but anyone going here (http://www.iwm.boxuk.net/server/show/nav.00100m005) will find a handy list from which to choose. The Duxford names are about halfway down the page.

I'm sure that the senior bods in a publicly funded organisation wouldnt' object to receiving the views (if expressed politely, of course) of some of us wot fund it...

28th May 2004, 16:16
Well said Camel Pilot (Or whichever Moderator edited Spekkie's post). The prattishness speaks for itself.

28th May 2004, 16:22
Quite agree FNG - some might possibly do, but that is absolutely not the point.

28th May 2004, 23:14
I resent being called a prat, but I will forgive you because I can see you mistakenly thought I was insulting the D-Day vet's - which I certainly did not intend to do.

My point stands, but I will re-word it in an attempt to avoid further upset . . . . .

"Some of the gentlemen (and possibly ladies?) who fought so bravely for us in the 2nd WW, including the event we know as D-Day, are in a stronger financial postion than I am"

(My use of the word "some" indicates that not all will fall into this group)

28th May 2004, 23:30
Yes, spekkie, some of them were women. Have you never heard of SOE? Some veterans are well off, others are not. Should we means-test the honours awarded by the free nations to those who defended their freedom?

I regret to say that, at present, you still appear to me to be wearing a prat hat, but I hope that you will indicate to me how and why I am mistaken.

29th May 2004, 07:48
This reminds me of one of my friends on the 50th anniversary. He wanted to fly over as he was there the first time. He was told the airspace was restricted to VIPs! He thought he was one but sadly they meant fat arses who were not even born at the time.
He began to wonder if he had fought for the wrong side!

Genghis the Engineer
29th May 2004, 09:49
I think that a phrase along the lines of "I am a VIP, since without me it wouldn't have happened" would have been in order - challenge the blighters to contradict !

Personally I don't think the financial health, or otherwise, of the veterans is relevant. They've paid already - more than most of us are ever likely to.


29th May 2004, 12:29
I have just e-mailed Duxford expressing my disgust that those who are being commemorated are having to pay to attend.

1st Jun 2004, 08:14
Duxford has moderated its position. See the thread in Private Flying for details (and for details of how you can support veterans attending the event).

2nd Jun 2004, 15:15
Well done Flyin'Dutch and Mike Cross:

BBC (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/cambridgeshire/3769927.stm)

2nd Jun 2004, 17:22
A small modicum of success. Got this from my MP:

Dear Mr FJJP

Thank you for your email regarding the D-Day Celebrations at Duxford.

As suggested, I contacted the Imperial War Museum and spoke with Julia Smith, the Business Development Manager, and I am pleased to be able to report that the £8 fee has now been withdrawn and Normandy Veterans will now be able to attend the event free of charge. Those veterans who have already purchased tickets will be refunded their money after the event. Any Normandy Veteran who has not yet purchased a ticket, but who would like to attend can do so, by turning up on the day and making themselves known to one of the officials.

D-Day is a very important occasion in our Nation's history and I am pleased to see the recognition that is now being given to our veterans and the important contribution they played in our democracy.

I do thank you for bringing this important matter to my attention.

Yours sincerely

Jonathan Djanogly MP

Ole! [By the way, I claim nothing for this - it's a team effort. All round attack by everyone paid dividends. Glad the Veterans are going to have a VIP day of it!]

2nd Jun 2004, 22:11
The above is largely down to FD and Mike, and bear in mind that Duxford are only doing this because we are stumping up. I and many others have gladly subscibed to pay entrance fees, but the principle remains: Duxford should never have contemplated charging the veterans a penny. In reality, Duxford isn't letting anyone in for free: it's accepting our payments and claiming credit as though it was pursuing some public spirited initiative. My opinion of the IWM management is lower now than it was when this story first broke. I initially put the decision to charge the veterans down to an ignorant error made by a junior employee born in the 1980s who probably thinks (along with 80% of the population, apparently) that the Battle of Britain occurred in 1066 (or 1966!) . Now it appears that this was a policy decision by management, still not withdrawn. It will be a long time before I visit Duxford again.

2nd Jun 2004, 22:17
As I understand it, IWM Duxford has not dropped the charge. It is simply accepting the money from the guys listed in the Private Flying forum as payment of the 8 quid for each Veteran. Their press release spins this as some kind of generous gesture from the IWM; it is nothing of the sort. It is purely down to the generosity of other people that the Vets will be able to attend for free. I, for one, will not be visiting the IWM again - and I will make my feelings plain to anyone who cares to listen (though I doubt there'll be many of those!).

2nd Jun 2004, 22:22
In view of (a) the initial decision and (b) the current spin in respect of the charge, do we now think that this is an issue in respect of which the Director of IWM Duxford should seriously consider his position?

3rd Jun 2004, 07:28
posted 3rd June 2004 07:25

If anyone would like to put their (real) name to a hard copy letter to the Director at Duxford inviting him, at the least, to review this event and to make a proper, unspun statement about it, kindly send me an email to [email protected]

Suggested text of letter follows:-

Edwin Inman OBE
Imperial War Museum Duxford
Duxford Aerodrome
Cambridgeshire CB2 4QR

Dear Mr Inman

We are a group of private pilots and aviation enthusiasts who have been gravely concerned by the Museumís decision to charge Normandy veterans an admission charge at the Museumís D-Day event at Duxford. Many of us have offered to contribute money in order to ensure that no veteran has to pay to attend an event commemorating the courage and sacrifice of the generation that gave so much to preserve our freedom during World War Two.

Our concern has, however, been exacerbated by the ungracious and, in our opinion, disingenuous manner in which the Museumís press statements have responded to public criticism of the decision to charge veterans. The Museum has publicly presented the offer made by many of us to pay charges for veterans as though it were some form of public-spirited initiative on the part of the Museum. Furthermore, we understand that the Museum is proposing to collect charges from public supporters on behalf of veterans, but not in fact to waive the charges themselves. It appears that the Museum has not accepted the principle that the cost of the event should be borne by the Museum through its public funding and/or through general admission charges not levied on veterans or paid on their behalf.

We are also disappointed that emails and letters to the Museum concerning this matter have gone unanswered.

We invite you now to accept, and to state publicly (1) that no charge will be made to or collected on behalf of any veteran for attending the D-Day event (2) that the Museum was in error in setting any admission charge for veterans.

We suggest that contributions made by members of the public to offset charges to veterans should be donated to appropriate charities.

Yours sincerely

Mike Cross
4th Jun 2004, 12:36
Final Total GBP3116

GBP 2,780.00 was transferrred to the IWM account yesterday, the balance of GBP 336.00 has now also gone across.

all snuck in under the barrier with donations as it was going down.

The list is now definitely CLOSED, sorry but I have to draw a line at some point.

I hope the weather holds up and the Veterans have a great time on Sunday.


4th Jun 2004, 13:18
That is magnificent. I hope IWM is proud of itself!:mad:

What a disgraceful exhibition of contempt for the veterans it was.

I strongly suggest that you get from them a penny for penny account of the funds and where the money left over went. Not to IWM should be a condition. They have done immense harm to their cause and I think the papers should know about their very bad management. They come out of this smelling of the stink they deserve.

4th Jun 2004, 13:29
Many thanks for your considerable efforts Mike!

Out of interest, I just received the following in an email from IWM - which ever way you read it, I think IWM might have handled things slightly more delicately!


Thank you for your email concerning the charging of veterans at the D Day Anniversary Air Show at Duxford on 6 June 2004.

The Museum recognised that there would be veterans who would not be able to travel to France for the 60th anniversary celebrations and might wish to attend an anniversary air show instead, we therefore wanted to offer some special facilities where the veterans could enjoy the show in a VIP marquee. The reserved area for veterans included private seating in an advantageous viewing position, access to the flight line walk, a complimentary souvenir programme, cloakroom facilities, etc. The decision was made to make an £8 charge (the standard senior citizen charge on a non event day) for the veteran and a guest as a contribution to the cost for these facilities. The Museum has been working with the Normandy Veterans Association throughout and this organisation has fully supported our plans.

We have also been working with the NVA and the Royal British Legion to auction a valuable solid silver scale model of a Spitfire. All the proceeds from this will be split equally between the Normandy Veterans Association and the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal. For information the NVA will also be holding a major reunion here at Duxford on 12 July 2004 when approximately 1,000 members are expected to attend. The Museum is not making any charge for this facility.

The Museum is pleased to announce that, following some very generous donations from members of the public which has been added to the Museumís own subsidy, veterans of the Normandy campaign will now be able to enjoy the D Day air show at Duxford free of charge. All veterans who have already purchased tickets will have their money refunded next week. Any monies remaining in this fund after the air show will be donated to the Normandy Veterans Association and the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal.

I hope this information will provide a balanced view of the way the IWM Duxford has approached this very important anniversary. Thank you again for your valued input.

Yours sincerely

Stuart Lawson
Front of House Manager

4th Jun 2004, 14:16
I have received the identical anodyne response. I have responded indicating my disappointment at Duxford's inability to own up to a mistake, and inviting an individual rather than a standardised response.

4th Jun 2004, 14:34
What a chance missed! :mad: :mad:

Two things. What they could have done was to at least avoid saying 'members of the public' and say it how it was. They were not people off the street! They could have even mentioned PPRuNe.

I have reached the inevitable conclusion that these people are pompous prats who do not know how to be contrite and down to earth.

Can someone just remind them of this possibly - by drawing their attention to the good people of PPRuNe?

:mad: :mad:

4th Jun 2004, 14:48
I responded to the email and suggested that PPRuNe and Flyer (whose Forum members also contributed I believe) should at least get a mention over the PA...

Mike Cross
14th Jun 2004, 10:17
Sent Linda Quinn at IWM an e-mail last week.
Hi Linda

Just to help you with your sums
You should have received from me

2780.00 in the first transfer
336.00 in the second transfer
3116.00 in total

You should have then taken 80.00 from (3 OL's) Credit Card, bringing the total to 3196.00

At 8.00 per veteran this comes out at Three Hundred and Ninety Nine and a Half veterans!

I gather Jenni Morton was upset by the thought of half a veteran so she sent you a cheque for 4.00 to sponsor his other half.

This should have brought the total to 3,200.00 or a nice round figure of 400 veterans sponsored

I trust they had a good time.

Reply received this morning
Hi Mike,

Yes, it was a brilliant day for everyone that came. For veterans, so nostalgic, many a tear was shed.
I understand from Ted (Ted Inman, Director IWM) all of this money is to be paid to the Normandy Veterans Association, Ted told me he would be writing to you to that effect. I will wait for another week before sorting it all out, taking into account any stragglers.

Tell Jenni Well Done, and once again thank you all.


Linda Quinn
Finance Officer
Imperial War Museum Duxford
tel 01223 499323 fax 01223 837267

e-mail [email protected]


Biggles Flies Undone
14th Jun 2004, 14:18
I too received the standard response and sent the following reply:

Thank you for sending me a copy of the standard response, Sue.

I think it is a great pity that:

1. The IWM was so short-sighted as to impose a charge in the first place for this one-off event and thereby reap such negative publicity.

2. You feel obliged to refer to 'members of the public' when funds were received from two sources who could have been identified and publicly thanked.

3. The whole tone of the letter is unapologetic and attempts to put a positive spin on what, in my opinion, was a disgraceful and heartless decision by the senior Duxford management.

Nothing contained in the letter or in the subsequent actions of the organisers has given me any reason to change my mind. I have paid my final visit to Duxford and so have a great number of my friends and colleagues. In the long run, the IWM will be the real losers in this sad issue.