A MUSEUM is to fire its restored 70-year-old gun to celebrate The Queen’s birthday.
The North East Aircraft Museum (NEAM), in Washington, will use the 25-pound weapon, from the 1940s, for the 21-gun salute at The Big Bang.
The military event, which will also mark the Diamond Jubilee, will feature a special mark of respect to Her Majesty, who is 86 this month.
The gun, which was recently restored by a team based at the museum, will be included in a series of drill displays.
Thomas Emms, from the museum, said: “Throughout the day, there will be live music by local Usworth Air Cadet Squadron, 2214 and South Shields Sea Cadets, TS Collingwood.
“Weapon demonstrations will also go ahead during the day, which will include multiple types of weapons, from pistols to light machine guns.”
NEAM is home to the largest aviation collection between Yorkshire and Scotland. It houses military vehicles, weapons, numerous aero engines and other aviation-related material.
Mr Emms said: “Children of all ages are encouraged to dress up as a prince or princess for our ‘Royal Fancy Dress’ competition. The winner in each category will win a prize.
“Homemade goods and food will be available to buy from vendors at the Jubilee-themed craft fair.
“With face painting, competitions, cockpit viewings, live entertainment, weapon demonstrations, living history groups and classic vehicles, the day caters for everyone.
“The event will also pay tribute to our fallen heroes with a two-minute silence.”
Other attractions include a blitz-era street scene, which has taken 14 months to build.
The display, which features a crashed plane and air raid shelter, gives an insight into life during the Second World War and the Blitz in the North East.
The Big Bang will take place at the NEAM, in Old Washington Road, Washington, on April 21, from 10am to 5pm.The 21-gun salute takes place at 1pm.
Admission is £5 adults, £3 children and concessions, and £12 family tickets, which includes two adults and two children.
For more information, call 519 0662, email firstname.lastname@example.org or vist www.neam.org.uk.