North East Land, Air and Sea Museum, Washington Road, Sunderland, SR5 3HZ – Visit Now
At what was once a Royal Air Force (RAF) base – RAF Usworth – and Sunderland Airport, now lies the North East Land, Air and Sea Museum, holding an impressive repository of vehicles from across the 20th century. Each of these vehicles and the records connected to them have both local and national significance and presents a story that is curated by passionate collectors. Having been the home of 607 Squadron, which operated out of RAF Usworth during the second world war, the site has a museum that tells the story of the squadron and its contribution to the war, as well as uniforms and memorabilia from the unit. This can be seen in the main aircraft display in the main hanger. Inside the main hanger and past the squadron museum, is a reconstruction of a street in the North East of England depicting day-to-day life in the second world war, from shop fronts to the searchlights that were a key part in protecting England from enemy bombing by highlighting enemy aircraft. The main hanger also holds many of the military and civilian aircraft in the collection from early commercial planes through to a Submarine Spitfire replica.
The other two hangers are Romney Huts, which were used for storage during the second world war for the army and air force. These huts today store a fantastic collection of military vehicles. The first one contains a collection of tracked armoured vehicles and transport trucks including a FV101 ‘Scorpion’, which holds the record as the world’s fastest tank and a FV601 ‘Saladin’, both workhorses of the British army’s armoured elements in the cold war period. The second Romney Hut contains the navy collection with several Naval Aircraft that served on carriers, through to a collection of model replicas of navy vessels. The North East Land, Air and Sea Museum is a fantastic day out for anyone who loves the history of flight and military vehicles.