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Storrington care home resident and former aircraft engineer enjoys visit to Tangmere Military Aviation Museum 

Residents from Care South’s Sussexdown care home in Storrington enjoyed a day out to Tangmere Military Aviation Museum in West Sussex, which houses military machines, a memorial garden and an air raid shelter which was used during World War ll. Resident, John aged 84 joined the Royal Air Force (RAF) when he was 16 as an aircraft engineer and as part of his role worked with radios and flight simulators. John then progressed to be a flight simulator engineer where he worked all over the world installing simulators and training others.

John, who was a volunteer at the Tangmere Military Aviation Museum before moving to Sussexdown care home, helped guide visitors for many years and is still an honourable member there. Much to John’s delight, he led the tour for the residents who went along for the trip. Residents were able to see some excellent aircraft including the World Speed Record breaking Gloster Meteor F.4 Special (flown by Group. Captain E.M. ‘Teddy’ Donaldson in 1946) and Hawker Hunter Mk3 (flown in 1953 by the Museum’s late President Neville Duke). 

The museum is home to five halls, exhibiting a variety of memorabilia which brought back memories for many residents. One resident said she remembered pilots in her back garden during the war and planes landing on Epsom Downs.

John Rowntree, resident at Sussexdown, said: “I had a wonderful day visiting the museum again – it’s like I have never left. Getting to show my fellow residents around the place that I volunteered at was just the cherry on top of a fantastic day.”

Luba Glebow, Activities Lead at Sussexdown, added: “It was a fantastic day that brought back a lot of memories for residents in our care. We would like to thank Tangmere Military Aviation Museum and all the staff at the museum for letting John guide us around and for providing us all with a wonderful day out.”

Sussexdown care home in Storrington accommodates 77 residents and is part of Care South, a not-for-profit charity and leading provider of residential and home care across the south of England. Find out more about life at Care South here: www.care-south.co.uk/video/john-interview

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