IWM Duxford cancels Battle of Britain 80th anniversary proms and air show

The Duxford Battle of Britain Air Show. Picture: IWM / Phil Chaplin

The Duxford Battle of Britain Air Show. Picture: IWM / Phil Chaplin - Credit: IWM

The much-anticipated Duxford Battle of Britain Proms and 80th Anniversary Battle of Britain Air Show has been cancelled at the eleventh hour due to the ongoing pandemic.

Thousands of people had already bought tickets for the weekend at IWM (Imperial War Museum) Duxford, which was scheduled for September 18-20.

The event had promised entertainment ranging from spectacular flying displays by vintage aircraft to music from the D-Day Darlings singing heartfelt harmonies that kept Britain smiling during the dark days of World War Two.

But although changes were made to enforce social distancing and Covid hygiene measures, the decision has now been taken to cancel the weekend.

A statement said: “We have been working tirelessly with our partners including Public Health England and South Cambridgeshire District Council in order to explore all avenues for hosting the event. However, we take our responsibility for the safety of our visitors and local community very seriously and feel it would be irresponsible to continue with the event in this rapidly-changing climate.

“We are devastated to have to take this decision, and want to thank our visitors, supporters, partners, neighbours and staff members for their incredible support over the past few days and weeks.

“IWM, like many other museums across the country, is under significant financial pressure due to the coronavirus pandemic so it is a huge blow to have to cancel one of our biggest events less than a week before it takes place. We are confident that our visitors, partners and supporters understand we would not have taken lightly a decision of this magnitude.

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“We are hugely sorry about the disruption that this cancellation will cause for everyone. We will be in touch with everyone who has purchased a ticket to offer refunds and options to donate your ticket to IWM or consider membership opportunities with access to a host of benefits including free entry to all IWM sites and much more for a whole year.”

IWM Duxford promises to return with a packed programme for the next Air Show season and will release details about the 2021 programme in due course.