Halton House opens Doors to the Public

Jane Reilly  |  Published: Sep 25th 2017

An estimated 1500 visitors attended the annual Halton House and Gardens Open day recently with lots to see and do and free entrance. Transport was provided to the Trenchard Museum, The James McCudden Flight Heritage Centre (JMFHC) and the recently renovated Great War practice trenches, Lister Lines, which have recently been opened again to the public after more hard work has been undertaken on them by volunteers.

Visitors were given a fascinating insight into the history of the House, which is still a working Officer’s Mess, by volunteer tour guides showing and selling both Halton House and RAF Halton memorabilia.  The local Royal Air Force Association members, dressed in period costume of the 1940s, sold souvenirs alongside National Trust representatives from the House’s ‘sister’ estate, Waddesdon Manor. Chiltern areas Jaguar Driver’s Club also had several classic Jaguars on display and refreshments and light lunches or hot food were served by the House catering staff.

Two coaches provided a shuttle service to the Trenchard Museum and JMFHC via Lister Lines where the visitors were taken back 100 years to be met by re-enactors of the Great War Society, complete with bayonets, brass and bully beef! Here they did an astounding job of educating the public by demonstrating their equipment and describing life as a Tommy during 1914-1918.

The Trenchard Museum and JMFHC experienced similar interest by the public under guidance of the Trenchard Museum Curator, Mr Francis Hanford, and Mr Bill McGrath of the JMFHC, and numerous other volunteers on hand.

Project Officer for the event, Flt Lt Rich Egan, said: “All in all a very successful day with record numbers visiting. Towards the end of the day, as the good weather started to deteriorate, numbers swelled at the House as cream tea sales went off the chart!  I would like to thank all the volunteers from the Station and the Great War Society re-enactors who worked so hard to set the scene and gave an extremely realistic portrayal of that era.”

interior Halton House
Halton House volunteer
exterior Halton House
re-enactor in trench with visitors
explaining life in the trenches
All images Crown copyright
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