Society disappointed with Wattisham

WATTISHAM'S commander has today apologised to disappointed volunteers from the Ipswich Transport Museum after the recent 70th anniversary celebrations at the airfield .

WATTISHAM'S commander has today apologised to disappointed volunteers from the Ipswich Transport Museum after the recent 70th anniversary celebrations at the airfield .

Colonel David Turner said he was sorry to hear that the museum did not enjoy their day at Wattisham.

He was speaking after the Ipswich Museum of Transport wrote a rather damning report of proceedings of the day in its recent newsletter, concluding there was “much scope for improvement”.

They list a lack of organisation, army personnel without knowledge of the events and rude visitors, “with Ps and Qs conspicuous by their absence”.


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The museum was invited to the celebrations on Saturday July 11, which included an invite-only event in the afternoon for veterans and VIPs, on the understanding they would be involved in running a “few infrequent tours of the base, subject to relevant guides and organisation”.

They believed the rest of the day would be spent advertising the museum with a selection of their exhibits.

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However, it transpired that museum staff were “pressed” into ferrying groups of guests from the officers' mess to the airfield for the day in the bus.

The newsletter, written by Owen Phillips, read: “We had been treated almost like paid staff with no choice but to oblige the army.”

In addition, it was only when the bus driver complained that they were allowed a break and a cup of tea, but “even then we had to take it in coffee cups with a full bus waiting to depart”.

Col Turner said: “Having been invited by the airfield's Museum Society, I personally thanked the Ipswich Transport Museum team for their magnificent service and, until today, was unaware of any complaint.

“The 70th Anniversary event did much to strengthen the bonds between Wattisham and its neighbouring parishes and I have received many letters of thanks from those who attended. The participation of the museum was greatly appreciated - especially the veterans.”

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