Winter 2020, Family Days Out at The Museum

We are open each day from 10:00am until 4:00pm. Enjoy free parking on site as you explore the museum. Full details of admission prices and family tickets at this link right here. And don't forget we're dog friendly!

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Christmas Toy Appeal At The Yorkshire Air Museum – York’s Toy Story

1st December 2019 - 31st December 2019

* In the Christmas Eve of 1944, 200 handcrafted toys were made by the French airmen based here at RAF Elvington, York.

* Join us this Christmas and help the children of York Hospital by donating a Christmas Gift through The Yorkshire Air Museum

The Story of the WW2 French Airmen and the Children of York

The date and time is RAF Elvington, 1944 wartime and the French Squadrons based here are preparing for winter in Yorkshire and the hazards of flying yet more missions over occupied Europe.

It would be easy to think that their minds would be fully occupied with simply surviving war. And for the ground crews, the task of preparing the Halifax bombers for the final push to win victory in Europe must have seemed never ending.

And yet one French Air Force Lieutenant, Sous Lieutenant Lemarchand, serving in the Mechanics Section with the French Squadrons based at Elvington, was moved to help the children of York.

Inspired by the LNER Railway charity Christmas Tree in York railway station as he passed through, he decided it would be a fine gesture of goodwill to make some toys for the sick children and was confident his fellow mechanics would agree.

204 toys were created by the French Airmen. Using whatever materials they could find, combined with their skills of repairing the Halifax aircraft, they created gifts for the children of York to be distributed from York Mansion House.

We would love for you to join us in bringing back this memory of Christmas spirit. With your help, we aim to once again give another 204 toys to York Hospital Children’s Ward, especially for children who will be spending this Christmas in their care.

How You Can Help The Museum’s York Toy Story Come to Life Once Again

When you visit the Museum, you can donate a new toy to the children of York Hospital and enjoy a complimentary hot chocolate and a mince pie from our NAAFI Restaurant (one free hot drink & mince pie per person donating one toy).

Your donations will be taken by the Museum team to York Hospital Children’s Ward on 20th December, to be sure that during Santa’s busy time, no children are forgotten.

You can help us spread the word via social media by tagging #yorktoystory and #yorkshireairmuseum in your posts.

If you would like to donate a toy, here are some guidelines from our friends at York Hospital as due to the nature of their environment, not every type of toy can be gifted.

“Plastic dolls such as Barbie and Action Man, Colouring books and pens, Wipe able hard books, Jigsaws, toys such as play telephones, screens and shape boxes are wonderful”

“Please note, sadly we cannot accept anything wooden. We ask that toys are new as they will be used as gifts for the children to take home.”

UPDATE – We are being asked how to send toys via mail from supporters who would like to give some distance away. Your generosity us uplifting, thank you! You can also ‘drop ship’ to us from your favourite online store by entering the address in the checkout.

Our postal address is as follows:

York Toy Story
Yorkshire Air Museum
Halifax Way
YO41 4AU
United Kingdom

Christmas Opening Hours

Don’t forget, we are open each day over Christmas, only closing on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Years Day. Once you have opened all of your own gifts and eaten your fill, why not enjoy some fresh air in the grounds of the Museum and avoid those busy Christmas sales just for one day?


Visit the French Officers Mess and see how the French airmen who were based here in 1944 celebrated Christmas in between flying missions over occupied Europe.


1st December 2019
31st December 2019
Event Category:


The Yorkshire Air Museum
+44 (0)1904 608595


The Yorkshire Air Museum
Yorkshire Air Museum, Halifax Way
Elvington, North Yorkshire YO41 4AU United Kingdom
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