Lancashire woman aiming to help the county's aviation museum take off

A St Annes woman with a passion for aviation has landed a dream job at the Fylde coast’s  air museum.

By Tim Gavell
Wednesday, 20th October 2021, 12:30 pm

Melissa Neal is the new visits co-ordinator and digital media officer for the Hangar 42 Spitfire Visitor Centre at Blackpool Airport.

She has been part of the volunteer team at the growing museum and has been able to take up the role after the attraction gained Heritage Lottery Fund support.

Melissa said: “The Spitfire Visitor Centre has provided me with various skills over the last four years.

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Melissa Neal who has joined the Hangar 42 museum in Blackpool

“My knowledge of aviation and history, particularly WW2 and local heritage, has grown immensely from being a part of this team as a volunteer, as well as making some wonderful friends along the way.

“I am hugely honoured to now have this new position within such an important organisation. Thanks to our team leader, John Coombes, and the Heritage Lottery Fund, I look forward using my role to promote aviation heritage and also the stories of the people of WW2, within the local community and further afield.

"I am also very excited to be taking the lead on our newly developed educational visits programme which I am very confident will be beneficial to all schools and groups who visit us.”

John Coombes, who has been the driving force behind the museum sited in a Second World War hangar at Squires Gate, said: "Melissa has been with the team in a volunteering role for several years and has now taken on her new consultancy position within Hangar 42, playing a lead role of Marketing and School Visits Consultant.

"This position consists of managing the busy social media accounts for the Spitfire Visitor Centre, helping promote our projects, and implementing a new and exciting schools programme to include local WW2 History for younger pupils and the four STEM subjects for teenage students."

The museum is currently looking for more volunteers to help out and is holding volunteer recruitment sessions on October 25 at 7pm, November 8 at 7pm and on November 13 at 11am.

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