The first aviation museum in Southampton, the R J Mitchell Memorial Museum, was opened in 1976 in a former NAAFI hut alongside the ATC headquarters near Marlands Hall on Havelock Road. This building soon became inadequate to house an expanding collection and in 1984 a new purpose-built museum, funded jointly by Southampton Council, Hampshire Council and the English Tourist Board, was opened on Albert Road South. While the first museum, given its restrictions in size and facilities, necessarily concentrated on Mitchell and the Supermarine company, the new museum was able to cover the history of aviation in the entire Solent area. Exhibits included a Spitfire, a Supermarine S6A and a Short Sandringham 'Beachcomber' flying boat.
A new ATC headquarters was also constructed alongside the new museum.

Further reading:
Southampton Hall of Aviation. (HS/ph)


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