The Yorkshire Air Museum was able to re-affirm the European status of The Allied Air Forces Memorial this week. Located in the grounds of the Museum, the memorial is part of an ongoing, 35 year old quest to honour the memory of the Allied Air Forces of World War Two and subsequently in conflicts around the world.
Museum Director Barbara George commented, “While Britain may no longer be part of the EU, we will always have strong bonds with our European friends. So it’s with great pride that we are able to re-affirm this link by the affirmation and renewal of the Allied Air Forces EU Trademark.
“Our European friends mean a lot to us. Over the past few years, our Memorial team has been involved in high profile commemorative and partnership events not only in Elvington and throughout Britain but also in France, the Netherlands and Poland. The common theme has been the respect and value of international partnerships. Now more than ever, it is essential that we embrace unity to display strength and cohesion in the face of global adversity.”
In recognition of the status of the museum and memorial, funding was granted by the National Heritage Lottery Fund and the Arts Council’s Culture Recovery Grant to assist the museum through the current COVID global crisis.
This means that despite being closed to the public through several lockdown periods, the memorial and museum have been lucky to be able to continue precious maintenance and exhibition work.
Plans are now well under way to reopen the Museum and Memorial for the season this Easter to repeat the success of welcoming visitors back after the lockdown of 2020.
Barbara added: “When our museum reopens in Spring, we will be unveiling a brand new exhibition celebrating the diversity of the allied air forces. It will include stories about the thousands of men and women of Caribbean descent as well as from Eastern Europe who joined the Royal Air Force as aircrew and ground crew during WWII. Far too often their contribution has been overlooked over the years and this is our way of honouring them.”