RAF Museum, Cosford, Shropshire
This RAF-run museum houses a large collection of aeroplanes and linked items, such as engines, and includes some historically significant pieces, like the world’s oldest spitfire. It has good facilities, including car-parking, a shop and a café, and is free to enter. Furthermore, it has good access and disabled facilities and, at least during half-term, activities aimed at children.
We as a family visited the RAF Museum to tie in with a project at our son’s school on planes and flying. We assumed it would provide an informative history of the human endeavour to fly, with many early models of aeroplanes to view. It has also won a Tripadvisor certificate of excellence for 2014, which we felt would weigh heavily in its favour.
Sadly, we forgot that it was owned by the RAF. The museum was less of a history of flight than of a collection of machines – and missiles – brought together for one purpose only: propagandaBiased and misleading information used to promote a political cause or point of view.. In a celebration of death and war, each missile was ranked for greatness on how many kills and direct hits it had made, with many testimonials coming from the likes of the Israeli army. There was plenty of information available and, from an engineering perspective, this may have been accurate and informative. However, from a historical perspective this was heavily biased, and ill-informed. Granted, it was well-presented, with a cinema piece on the Cuban missile crisis, for example. However, it was so selective with the facts, which were presented in such a distorted way, that I marched my children out of the cinema area half-way through the film. We walked around the hangars firstly with shocked, and then simply deadened, expressions, and it is rare we have been so glad to leave a place.
All I can say about this place is, unless you are of a particularly military bent, don’t go. And certainly don’t go for historical purposes.
To find out more about visiting the RAF Museum at Cosford, click here.