You may all have seen Alan's efforts to put this account on the messages board but he was limited to 1300 words, which was ony half the story, below is the full account of his experience.
DX17 opening 15thJune 2017
On arriving at Duxford for the DX17 opening, Anthea and I met Stan in the Officers Mess car park where we were gifted with a rather large frozen trout, a good start for what turned out to be a wonderful day. After refreshments in the cafe on being joined by Kerris and Colin which completed our small group. As Stan has already reported, we sadly missed Les Millgate as he was unable to attend, hopefully he will be back to full strength very soon. Jan also had to miss the occasion, but pleased to learn it was nothing to serious. Get well soon Jan we are thinking of you.
At the appointed time we all drove over the A505 entering through the guardroom staff entrance and parked up between hangars 4 and 5. The DX17 venue was setup on the other side of hangar 4 under a very large temporary white canvas tent. As we arrived Pamela Linden (IWM London) proceeded to ply us with yellow stickers which turned out to identify us as part of the first group for entry into the darkened tent. About 50 or more people were present for the opening which began with a lady Director for the IWM who took the stand outside the tent and welcomed everyone. She explained the importance of the DX17 project and complimented various IWM staff in particular Alicia Gurney (Head of Master Planning and Engagement) who played the major part in the project.
The Director then introduced Nick Ryan who created the sound sculpture that we were about to see. He explained in great detail what it was all about and gave credit to his many colleagues who helped with the sculpture. Then HRH Duke of Kent gave a short talk before declaring the DX17 project open by cutting an imaginary ribbon
We were provided with high quality headsets plus a cup device wired to the headset. As we entering the darkened tent we found an aerie mist pervading the darkness. Then subtle lights came on. It was like walking under the fuselage underbelly of a large futuristic aircraft which displayed many small beams of light plus many lit up portholes. We placed the cup devices under the mini search lights or near the lit up portholes and found our head sets come to life with words from each point of light of past airmen describing their experiences. There were 100 voices available to hear plus appropriate background sounds of aircraft. A truly mystical and high tech experience. I could not get to every point of light and so missed those of the ODA who were featured. Esther told me afterwards, that both Stan and I were there somewhere. I must go again before September.
Afterwards, we were treated to an excellent lunch in the newly modernised workshop cafe, courtesy of the IWM.
We all, except Stan, whom we left to deal with the press meeting, (who better), took a slow walk around the concourse and enjoying the sunny weather before heading home.
We have since learned that the exhibition was scheduled to close in September, however, Stan, our man at the sharp end of these events has intervened on our behalf and requested that if at all possible, could the Director General, Diane Lees keep the exhibition going until October 8th, to give our members a chance to see the for themselves this unique spectacle.