The South Yorkshire Aircraft Museum in Doncaster is currently undertaking the restoration of an Avro Vulcan cockpit which will, on completion, allow visitors guided cockpit tours on selected open days.
Vulcan XL388 was the only one of the iconic delta winged V bombers to be officially named by the RAF, receiving the name ‘Mayflower III’ in honour of the Pilgrim Fathers, many of whom came from villages around Doncaster.
In 1964 it flew with 9 Squadron at RAF Coningsby and was chosen to participate in a goodwill tour of the USA, where the crew presented a specially commissioned certificate on behalf of the townsfolk of Boston, Lincolnshire to those of Boston, Massachusetts to commemorate the Pilgrim Fathers 1600s’ voyage on the Mayflower.
Sadly XL388 was cut up for scrap in 1985, though the cockpit survived in a poor condition. Now volunteers, under the guidance of experienced museum members, are restoring XL388 in order to allow guided tours as an education exhibit.
The museum needs £3,500 to complete the restoration. If you can help with a donation, the museum be contacted on 01302 761616. There is also a ‘Crowdfunding’ page on the internet — just type in XL388 to find it on www.justgiving.com. The South Yorkshire Aircraft museum is a registered charity run by unpaid trustees and volunteers — it aims to promote the regional aviation history including airfields in Bassetlaw and North-Eastern Lincolnshire. Any support is greatly appreciated.
If you wish to see the cockpit for yourself and how it is progressing, a visit to the museum is well recommended. The museum is found on Airbourne Road in Doncaster and is signposted from both the M18 and Racecourse Road accesses of the Lakeside village complex.