War-time street opens at aircraft museum

Darren Lloyd of Lloyds Signs putting the finishing touches to a sign in the new Blitz Street scene at the North East Aircraft Museum which opens in April.
Darren Lloyd of Lloyds Signs putting the finishing touches to a sign in the new Blitz Street scene at the North East Aircraft Museum which opens in April.
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VISITORS can step back in time to the Second World War at a museum.

The blitz-era street scene at the North East Aircraft Museum has taken 14 months to be constructed.

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 and across England.

Local signwriter Ronald Lloyd was hired to put the finishing touches to the scene, giving the shop signs in the street a real look of the era.

All that is left to do is install the window displays and put some finishing touches to the snapshot of wartime Britain.

Keith Davison is manager at the museum and has been overseeing the building of the street.

Keith, 59, from Peterlee, is confident that the street will be a big hit with schools. They do it with their history curriculum so I think it will be interesting to them.

“We’ve got a general store where there will be ration books. They can see exactly what people got. And we have a wedding dress and army uniforms that will be displayed in the shop windows.

“I’d really encourage people to come and have a look at it. It will be great.”

The display includes an Anderson Shelter, a familiar sight for families during the war, as well as a crash which includes a downed Heinkel HE-111 Bomber that was used by the Luftwaffe.

Keith said: “We are hoping to have it all finished by and ready by the Big Bang event. We’ve brought it here and built it all up again, so we have not done bad with it.”

The street was originally homed in the Military Vehicle Museum in Newcastle, but when it closed down the staff at NEAM decided to bring it to Sunderland.

It is due to open to the public on April 21 at the museum’s first event of the year, the Big Bang, which will see a gun being fired to celebrate the Queen’s Jubilee.

The North East Aircraft Museum is home to the largest aviation collection between Yorkshire and Scotland.

It houses military vehicles, weapons, numerous aero engines and other aviation-related material.

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