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The Manx Aviation and Military Museum

It would be fair to describe this fascinating museum as somewhat compact. But don’t let that fool you. It’s a treasure-trove, filled to the rafters (literally!) with intriguing, exciting and often unexpected exhibits.

Run by a team of volunteers under the enthusiastic leadership of Ivor Ramsden MBE, the museum traces the history of the Manx Regiment (they fired the first British shots of WW2 although, admittedly, against an RAF plane), alongside military and civilian aviation on the Island down through the years – from the RAF’s extensive use of Jurby airfield through to the founding of Manx Airlines.

The superb new World War 1 exhibit movingly highlights the experience of the Manx population during the war, as well as telling the personal stories – some heroic, many tragic, of the Island’s servicemen and women. The map of Douglas streets, with markers representing the fallen, is particularly sobering.

Other surprising and spectacular exhibits include the massive self-propelled Morris C9/B Bofors anti-aircraft gun, one of only four known to still exist, and the exhibit dedicated to the amazing story of Major Robert Cain V.C., whose heroism at Arnhem always amazes.

There’s no doubt that this fantastic museum pretty much defines the phrase “hidden gem”. It’s informative, educational, thought-provoking and always relevant. You should allow yourself at least a couple of hours to take it in properly. It's worth knowing that, if you contact the museum direct, Ivor is often happy to give personal tours, his passion and knowledge helping bring the exhibits and stories to life.

The museum shop stocks a surprisingly varied amount of memorabilia, as well as a healthy number of model kits from Airfix and other manufacturers. Entry is free, but donations are welcome.

Photo courtesy of Ivor Ramsden, MBE

 

Access

There is a free carpark onsite and a level entrance. Some of the corridors and spaces within exhibits are quite narrow. There are toilets on site, but these are not suited to wheelchair access.

Contact Details

Ronaldsway Airport
Ballasalla
IM9 2AT

Location
Google Maps Directions
Opening Hours
Day of the Week Opening Hours
Monday 10am to 4.30pm (during the summer season)
Tuesday 10am to 4.30pm (during the summer season)
Wednesday 10am to 4.30pm (during the summer season)
Thursday 10am to 4.30pm (during the summer season)
Friday 10am to 4.30pm (during the summer season)
Saturday 10am to 4.30pm
Sunday 10am to 4.30pm