View Full Version : Cosford 'Cold War Exhibition'

8th Jan 2007, 13:20
The 'Cold War Exhibition' in the spectacular new purpose-built exhibition hall at the RAF Museum at Cosford seems to be coming along nicely. It featured on the BBC 1 o'clock News today and is likely to be fully open at the beginning of February. More strength to their (collective) elbows :D
- P.

8th Jan 2007, 15:10
Visted Cosford the middle of November and we were disapointed we were unable to see the Cold War set up, the Hangar looks interesting from the out side.

We looked around the rest of the museum and it was realy good, we will have to make another visit but it is not easy as we have a lot of water to cross.

Shame the British Airways collection had to good althouth Cosford is off the beat and track, with a new exibition open one would hope they will attrack a lot of interest.

Look forward to the opening in February all the best to them.

Krystal n chips
9th Jan 2007, 15:24
And featured again here today.


15th Jan 2007, 16:26
Some photos from the new exhibition here - http://perspective-ihalfpennygreen.photos.gb.com/c1180588.html

16th Jan 2007, 17:41
Those of us that fly at Cosford don't think much of the new hangar. In a fresh Nor' Westerly it is a perfect vortex generator that makes your eyes water on finals. On the plus side, it can be seen from 25 miles away on a sunny day.

Seriously, it is excellent that so many airframes are now under cover.

17th Jan 2007, 10:02
It looks rather cluttered from those pics; not sure about dangling aircraft from the roof either, what do others thinK?

17th Jan 2007, 10:24
From having had the opportunity to have a walk around the new exhibition already, there are always going to be +ve's and -ve's.

I think the best way to go into the new exhibition is with the thought 'Cold War Exhibition' and not aircraft museum in mind, that way Im sure you will get a lot more pleasure out of the visit. Yes it is tight and difficult for photography but the aircraft are protected and tell an important story.

The building itself provides a talking point with its design, again some will love it some will hate it. OK perhaps the shape and space is strange for aircraft storage, but at least its not just another box. There is also story behind the design with a central wall of light seperating a dark side from a light side. The light side featuring the slightly lighter note of the cold war, humanitarian aid / Berlin airlift aircraft etc whilst the dark side features the threat of nuclear war and the weapons and systems associated with it.

Would I prefer to see some of the aircraft out in the open for nice photography, of course I would but then I also want to see these types preserved properly for the future. Realistically quite a few of the exhibits have been available for viewing externally for a number of years, Vulcan, Victor, Javelin, Belfast, Jetstream etc as for the others, personally I think its important that aircraft such as the Valiant are preserved under cover (look what happened to the Beverley at Hendon).

I visited expecting to be disappointed at the layout which I thought would tarnish my view of the exhibition, I came away excited and full of praise with a completely different view of the exhibition.

18th Jan 2007, 01:56
I'd prefer to see a Vulcan in a "Cold War" exhibition wearing 'V' Force colours. Either all white or with a camouflage top/white bottom and black radome. That horrid all over camouflage is from the sad days after they were downgraded to ancillary duties. Knocking a few holes in a far away runway was a fantastic piece of logistics and all very well, but the Valiant, Victor and Vulcans' part in the Cold War was all about vapourising entire cities.

18th Jan 2007, 09:38
Could somebody tell me which Shackleton is in the "Cold War" exhibition.

Green Meat
18th Jan 2007, 12:24
I am just hoping that it will be better than the appalling IWM North.

This current trend towards contextualisation in museums is all very well (and, after all, Caernarfon Air World has been doing it very nicely for years), but when the contextualisation effort obscures the exhibits which, let's face it, most punters are going there for, it's a bad show all round.

Windy Militant
18th Jan 2007, 14:27
This current trend towards contextualisation in museums is all very well

It also plays a big part in financing the place. We had the Head Curator from the RAF Museum give a talk to my PFA strut a couple of years ago and he pointed out to us that museums like this cannot survive if they depend on enthusiasts and nostalgia. They have to encourage ordinary families to come along as well. Also by linking the exhibits to the national curriculum they can get grants from educational bodies. If done properly it means that these exhibits are conserved for future generations and that those who served will be remembered too.
It was still a work in progress when I was there in the Summer but from What I could see over the barriers it will be well worth a return visit this year.:ok:

Shame the NMSI at Wroughton wasn't treated with similar understanding for context.:ugh:

Green Meat
18th Jan 2007, 15:57
Yes, and in modern times I understand the necessity for museums to pull funding for wherever possible especially since the abolition of entry fees for publicly-funded museums.
I'm trying not to sound like a doom-merchant, but my experience of 'modern' military museums is one of the fluffy-wuffy brigade having designed space, light, sound and emotions and almost no exhibits! The 'artwork' at IWM North consisting of the material of unpicked WW2 forage caps was vandalism at its worst, ironically I would have preferred to see them in their original context!
As a cold-war armchair historian, I'm waiting with anticipation to be proven wrong by Cosford!

IIRC, doesn't Greater Manchester Council have an anti-war policy hence no combat a/c at the Air Museum? Bizarre to have a national museum there :ugh: Not at all the case with Cosford, one would hope :ok:

19th Jan 2007, 12:06
I guess I'll reserve judgement until I see it for real. There is a bit about its concept in this month's Aeroplane mag, within a four-page interview with the Director of the RAF Museum.

As for the dangly aircraft, I used to have several Airfix ones in my bedroom ceiling. It'll all end in tears when Mum decides to dust them.:{

19th Jan 2007, 18:25
As for the dangly aircraft, I used to have several Airfix ones in my bedroom ceiling. It'll all end in tears when Mum decides to dust them
Then you tie cotton from bedroom window to the ground and fly them:ok:
Then you get the Mig 15, and fly it with a live banger (firework not sausage) up its bum, and blow it to bits:}
Followed by a victory roll in a USN F4.
Yes I had an interesting childhood; I'll get my coat!!

Green Meat
20th Jan 2007, 20:42
I'd better get mine too, my Airfix Zeroes went down in real flames :}

21st Jan 2007, 03:38
Then you tie cotton from bedroom window to the ground and fly them:ok:
Then you get the Mig 15, and fly it with a live banger (firework not sausage) up its bum, and blow it to bits:}
Followed by a victory roll in a USN F4.
Yes I had an interesting childhood; I'll get my coat!!

Be glad to pop across from Oz to assist

5 penny bangers with longer fuses wrapped around the fuselage of a Stuka did a reasonable amount of damage - always felt sorry for the poor dog he liked to jump up and catch them on the way down.
Stuka 1 Dog Nil.

Must admit to burning/melting the net curtains on the odd occassion when the fuses were made in a rush.

Wonder where we would be today if we could have continued our childhood skills in similar fashion!!!

eagle 86
22nd Jan 2007, 02:20
Got to go one better - used to strap small medicine bottle full of petrol to penny bunger then strap to model on string - light fuse and let go - impressive explosion!

19th Feb 2007, 06:31
Speechless Two

With visiting at a weekend if the weather is O.K. people will be out and avout and when thing are FREE you must expect a very good attendance.

The onlt way round this is to do a charge the you would not get the same result so you cant please all the people all the time.

The way round this is to make shaw you arrive at opening and be one of the first in which we did back in November.

As for compacting things in i do agree but at the end of the day it all depends on space so to make full use of it whing will be tight with aircraft hanging from roofs does help take into account the one hanging at the new aerospace hangar at Duxford.

When we were there in November we were unable to see the cold war as it has only just opened so we intend to go back we will make shaw we time it rite as we have a long way to travel in a boat.:ok: :ok:

19th Feb 2007, 11:12
Planning a visit in a couple of months' time. I "did" the Udvar-Hazy last year and they have quite a bit of the dangly crazy-angles type thing there but obviously have more space - it actually enhanced the place rather than detracted from it. I hope this one isn't going to be a disappointment as we'll (the wife and I) be travelling quite a distance to get to it. Can anyone recommedn any board and lodgings round about, just in case we decide to make it an overnighter?

19th Feb 2007, 12:29
In the general area Bridgnorth is a nice town to stay in with its River, famous cliff railway and the Severn Valley Steam Railway.

19th Feb 2007, 13:06
it can be seen from 25 miles away In actual fact it can be seen from EGBJ (Gloucestershire) which is 45nm away(approx) and probably beyond that too but I haven't been further south than Gloucester on a day with suitable meteorological conditions. It makes a brilliant marker for those of us returning to Halfpenny Green (and probably also those going to Cosford too). I'm looking forward to seeing the collection soon.

Green Meat
11th Mar 2007, 22:34
Bit the bullet and went to see it for myself today!

Mixed reaction, superb display, some exhibits are much more visible especially those that are 'down below'. I must admit, however, that Speechless is correct about some of the overlapping. The Victor actually appears to be hiding! I think that it benefits the smaller and loses the larger a/c, but this should be balanced by the fact that thay look great and are going to be inside.

<whinge> Which person decided to put a Jetstream in there instead of the Buccaneer? Designed to attack the Northern Banner fleet IIRC, could it be more Cold War?</whinge>

Brewster Buffalo
31st Mar 2007, 20:47
Popped along to see this.

Haven't been to Cosford for many years and it has been transformed into a great museum with a new visitor's centre and the "cold war" hanger.

For Green Meat there is a Buccaneer nose there now..

Well worth a visit...


1st Apr 2007, 20:30
Amidst all the complaints about the Jetstream's Cold War provonance has anyone else noticed the Medium Stressed Platform in the Belfast! Or is it just me who has noticed... or is even bothered.

2nd Apr 2007, 07:36
not been to see the exhibition yet but an MSP in the Belfast seems to suggest a lack of understanding by the museum of the inability of the Belfast to carry out Any airdrop role ! I suppose it will stay there until they get an old 'classic' Herc for themselves.

2nd Apr 2007, 16:11
Amidst all the complaints about the Jetstream's Cold War provonance has anyone else noticed the Medium Stressed Platform in the Belfast! Or is it just me who has noticed... or is even bothered.

Never mind the Belfasts medium stressed platform, has anyone clocked its seriously stressed starboard oleo?? How the hell they moved it without collapsing I don't know!! :D

Great building (despite the leaky roof and wobbly footbridge!!)

2nd Apr 2007, 18:07
Hi All!
Went to see the display last week..
Air traffic were great and couldn't possibly have been more helpful - if any of you are controllers there - thankx!!:ok: :ok: - I even got to go up into the tower (which is TINY) to check the weather for our return (whch was rubbish - in and out of cloud all the way!)
As for the display, I was a little dissapointed. I'm fairly short in stature but I feel sure that even a tall person wouldn't be able to view the Victor properly on its lofty mountings. I dont know about others but I like aeroplanes on the ground - looking "real":E
Having said that, it was nice to see that all of the aeroplanes are in amazing condition and now that they are indoors, long may they remain that way:ok:
I will return - I like aeroplanes and museums need our support! Lets just hope that the victor at Duxford can have the same TLC over the next few months!
The Belfast looked great!!!!
TSR22 (wanted TSR2 but pressed the key too many times!!!):E

2nd Apr 2007, 21:59
I think the new hangar is a monstrosity. It's totally spoiled the ambience of the airfield [ yes - airfields do have ambience! ]. Airfields are wide open spaces and ,when sitting in the restaurant at Cosford ,prior to the new hangar's construction ,that feeling was there in abundance. Now the place feels quite dominated by a building of inappropriate design. If such a thing had to be built it should have been placed at the rear of the Museum entrance.
Of course it's important to get as many aircraft as possible under cover but they should be in a building in keeping with it's surroundings.

4th Apr 2007, 19:59
Sorry papa but I have to disagree. Yes , the building itself may not be to everyones taste, but I'm sure VFR bods will be happy as it is a highly visible marker!!
As for impeding the ambience of Cosfords airside, what does it stop? Virtually no activity apart from an occasional Grob and the Air Ambulance and some Provosts doing groundwork. The surrounding area is featureless, so your comment about being in keeping with its surroundings would necessitate the building being placed underground with a Berni Inn built on top with a couple of pikeys having a scrap over a lady of lesser morals. (Have you been to Shifnal recently??)
Basically,,,,, Great building (dodgy workmen) Great exhibition (dodgy guides) Great day out (dodgy visitors... I.E Me and Lenny)

PS Actually Shifnals not that bad............ theres not that many pikeys!!

4th Apr 2007, 20:27
Hi All
I have to agree with Papa (sorry Boris!!!;) ) - I think that the building is not in keeping with the surroundings.
Lets face it; Cosford is a pre-war expansion period station with the usual array of C type hangars and neo-georgian brick construction (with the odd modern bit thrown in!). Even the control tower is pre-war vintage (and, I think the only one of it's type still in regular use without additions).:8
I like the whole architectural thing about RAF stations from that period (most of them are "pre-war expansion", with a few exeptions) and putting someones arty farty building in the middle of it just doesnt work (for me!)
I think a normal hangar with a nice front (glass doors etc) would have been more in keeping. Dunno if that would have altered the museum attendance though - I guess that some people like modern!!!:E
True, though - when I arrived by air:cool: , the weather was foul (I wondered if they would let us take off again) but we still saw it from some distance away (as it slowly emerged from the mist!)
Did anyone notice the hideous fire escape on the outside? Architectural gaffe there - my friend who is an architect was with me on that day and he wasn't impressed............:ooh: