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Montrose Air Station to mark 101 years of aviation

Charlotte Yates, from Brechin, dressed as an Air Transport Auxiliary (ATA) woman pilot, who flew Spitfires during the war. Photograph by Neil Werninck and hair and make-up by the Barbers Shop (Ladies Hairdresser), Montrose

Charlotte Yates, from Brechin, dressed as an Air Transport Auxiliary (ATA) woman pilot, who flew Spitfires during the war. Photograph by Neil Werninck and hair and make-up by the Barbers Shop (Ladies Hairdresser), Montrose

The mighty iron gates of Montrose Air Station will be thrown open to welcome visitors to a celebration of the heritage centre’s 101 years of aviation and military history.

Over the weekend of May 16 to 18 there will be special events and free entry to Montrose Air Station Heritage Centre.

This is part of Museums Galleries Scotland’s 2014 Festival of Museums.

Dr Dan Paton, curator, said: “We are delighted to be part of such a prestigious national festival.

“As the UK’s first military air base, RAF Montrose played a major part in both World Wars.

“This weekend is a fantastic opportunity to visit Montrose Air Station and find out about the pilots who learned to fly aircraft, such as BE2s and Spitfires, in the skies above Montrose, to see superb examples of vintage aircraft and military vehicles – and to have fun!”

As well as the air station’s permanent displays of aircraft, military vehicles and wartime artefacts, the open weekend will feature a display of military vehicles from days gone by, as well as opportunities to dress up in 1940s’ outfits and pose by the replica Spitfire or in its cockpit.

Dr Paton said: “Throughout the weekend, there will also be re-enactments of life at the base by 638 sqn living history group, who will no doubt make the most of the centre’s perfectly recreated 1940s’ room, pilot’s bedroom, aircraft hangers and air raid shelter.”

Younger visitors will be able to follow in the high flying footsteps of the pilots who trained at Montrose and win their ‘Wings’, as well as a certificate signed by Montrose Air Station’s chief flying instructor.

Dr Paton concluded: “Visitors to our free open weekend will also be able to study fascinating artefacts, personal letters, photographs and documents relating to the thousands of men and women who served at Montrose Air Station from 1913 onwards.

“We will also be providing information about Montrose Air Station’s latest project – the centre for First World War Studies, which will open later this summer.

“This will provide in-depth information about Montrose Air Station’s vital contribution to the Battle in the Skies from 1914 to 1918 and will be a fantastic addition to our outstanding selection of historical resources.”

 

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