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Bentwaters Cold War museum press release

The Bentwaters Cold War Museum will be opening it's doors for 2009 on the Easter weekend and is set to become a popular attraction for visitors to the Suffolk coastal area.


February 2, 2009
By Bentwaters Cold War museum

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The Bentwaters Cold War Museum will be opening it's doors for 2009 on the Easter weekend and is set to become a popular attraction for visitors to the Suffolk coastal area and for those interested in aviation and military installations previously denied access to the public.

The museum is based in the former United States Air Force (USAF) hardened command post on the former Bentwaters airbase, which is believed to be the only such building open to the public in the UK and Europe.

Run by volunteers from the Bentwaters Aviation Society, the building is a large bunker made available to the public to view following 3 years of work to renovate and refurbish after the withdrawal of the USAF in 1993. Further information on the society can be found at www.bentwaters-as.org.uk and for the museum at www.bcwm.org.uk.

The main “War Operations Room” and “Battle Cabin” have been restored to original condition including the original decontamination showers and airlocks allowing members of the public to see these once top secret, high security military installations in detail in an eerie atmosphere evoking the Cold War period.

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Other parts of the building have been turned into exhibition rooms, covering the history of RAF Bentwaters from W.W.II until the base closed in 1993. Included in this are histories of the units that operated from the airfield, particularly the 81st Fighter Wing. Also included is the other airfield which was part of the “twin base” complex – RAF Woodbridge, again covering the period from W.W.II until the present day.

Further exhibition rooms feature information on the “Special Operations/Rescue Squadrons” that were based at RAF Woodbridge, and also the “Aggressor” Squadron based at Bentwaters.

There is plenty of car parking space and is suitable for all ages and has the added benefit of being an ideal all weather visitor attraction.
Plans for 2009 will see many new exhibits added to the existing displays, special days when tours of the base will be given and themed days including fly ins.

Following a very successful year in 2008, the open dates for 2009 have now been finalised and the museum will continue to open on the 1st and 3rd Sundays of each month, from Easter until October.
Of special mention is the Special Open day in June when there will be stalls and displays including flying and static aircraft invoking the atmosphere of USAF open day airshows of the past.

Simon Gladas 11th Jan 2009
Bentwaters Aviation Society Liaison & Publicity Officer

Full details of the 2009 dates are as follows:

 Open Dates 2009  
 April  Sunday 12th, Monday 13th, Sunday 19th
 May  Sunday 3rd, Monday 4th, Sunday 17th, Sunday 24th, Monday 25th
 June  Sunday 7th, Sunday 14th (special open day), Sunday 21st
 July  Sunday 5th, Sunday 19th
 August  Sunday 2nd, Sunday 16th, Sunday 30th, Monday 31st
 September  Sunday 6th, Sunday 20th
 October  Sunday 4th, Sunday 18th
 Opening Times  10:00 – 16:00
   
 Admission Prices  
 Adult  £4.00 – Note Special Open Day £5.00
 Child (14 and under)  Free