De Havilland Aircraft Museum videos gain worldwide appeal

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Alistair HodgsonImage source, de Havilland Museum
Image caption,
Alistair Hodgson said he was "exhausted" after they filmed more than 30 in one day and that's also why he's in the same shirt

The UK's oldest aviation museum has won new worldwide fandom after making films for visitors while it is closed.

The de Havilland Museum's new £3m hangar was only open for 28 days before coronavirus restrictions began.

Alistair Hodgson, curator at the Hertfordshire museum, worked with a colleague to make more than 30 videos in a day to post online.

They have proved a hit, attracting interest from countries including the United States, New Zealand and Canada.

"If people can't come to the museum, we can bring the museum to them," he said.

Image source, De Havilland Museum
Image caption,
Exhibits include the fuselage of a DH106 Comet, built at nearby Hatfield in 1953

The films are posted on its Facebook page and Mr Hodgson said they are getting a "huge response".

"We've had people from the USA, Belgium, Norway, New Zealand and Canada contacting us so far, as well as from all over the UK, and we're getting a mention [from a former visitor] on this Sunday's evening show on ABC Radio Sydney."

The independent museum at London Colney was the first aviation museum in Britain when it opened in May 1959 at Salisbury Hall, the home of the de Havilland Mosquito, a combat aircraft, introduced during World War Two.

Image source, de Havilland Museum
Image caption,
Mr Hodgson, pictured with a Tiger Moth, said it's " frustrating and rather sad, that there is no money coming in"

Exhibits include a pre-war Tiger Moth, Hornet Moth, Vampire, Chipmunk and the fuselage of a DH106 Comet, built at nearby Hatfield in 1953.

Mr Hodgson said the museum receives no government support and relies "entirely on people coming through the door and their generosity".

It is asking for online donations as it attempts to plug a "significant" revenue loss.

"We're doing all we can at the museum to keep our profile visible and fresh in front of as many people as possible," he said.

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