Christmas At The Yorkshire Air Museum
Sun Dec 1 - Tue Dec 31
Did you know in the Christmas Eve of 1944, 200 handcrafted toys were made by the French airmen based at RAF Elvington, York? First delivered to York Mansion House, then distributed to the sick and needy children in the City of York hospitals and institutions.
This was the result of a flash of inspiration from a French Air Force Lieutenant, Sous Lieutenant Lemarchand, serving in the Mechanics Section with the French Squadron’s based at Elvington, who had seen an L.N.E.R (London & North Eastern Railway) charity Christmas tree whilst passing through York Station. He decided it would be a fine gesture of goodwill to make some toys for the sick children and was confident his fellow mechanics would agree.
Take a break from your busy Christmas preparations and enjoy a visit to the Museum away from the busy shopping crowds.
Throughout the month of December 2019, we will be bringing a Christmas theme on to the base. Take some time from your busy Christmas preparations and enjoy wartime decorations on the base as well as in some of our main exhibitions.
Visit the French Officers Mess and see how the French airmen who were based here in 1944 celebrated Christmas in between flying missions over occupied Europe.
Support York Children’s Hospital With The Museum
This Christmas, in the spirit of the French Airmen of 1944 who crafted toys, we are supporting the York Hospital Children Ward. The story of the airmen’s compassion and generosity, far from home and fighting for the freedom of Europe, is a story close to our hearts. When you visit the Museum, you can donate a new toy to the children of York Hospital and enjoy a complimentary hot chocolate and a mince pie from our NAAFI Restaurant (one free hot drink & mince pie per person donating one toy).
Your donations will be taken by the Museum team to York Hospital Children’s Ward on 20st December, to be sure that during Santa’s busy time, no children are forgotten.
You can help us spread the word via social media by tagging #yorkshireairmuseum and #yorkhospital in your posts.
If you would like to donate a toy, here are some guidelines from our friends at York Hospital as due to the nature of their environment, not every type of toy can be gifted.
“Plastic dolls such as Barbie and Action Man, Colouring books and pens, Wipe able hard books, Jigsaws, Wipe able toys such as play telephones, screens and shape boxes”
“Please note, sadly we cannot accept anything wooden. We ask that toys are new as they will be used as gifts for the children to take home.”
Christmas Opening Hours
Don’t forget, we are open each day over Christmas, only closing on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Years Day. Once you have opened all of your own gifts and eaten your fill, why not enjoy some fresh air in the grounds of the Museum and avoid those busy Christmas sales just for one day?