Lawrence J Armstrong

Air Space, IWM Duxford - Official Pre-Build Footage. by Shaun Armstrong

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Rare footage from AirSpace, Imperial War Museum, Duxford with Spitfire test pilot Alex Henshaw.

The following video was shot by me in March 2005 at the start of the building of "Air Space", then a new indoor space for Imperial War Museum, Duxford in Cambridgeshire, UK, to house and showcase many iconic British planes, including Lancaster, Spitfire, Vulcan and Concorde and also tell the story of aviation for future generations.

Whilst there were some press photographers there, I don't think it was formally filmed (I may be wrong - no doubt someone will tell me) nor was there the legion of mobile documenting tech there is today, feeding into social media! So having dug out (no pun intended) the footage, thought it worthwhile to edit it a little bit and share; if my video and audio friends in particular could please excuse 2005 production quality.

A time capsule containing a selection of local and aviation artefacts was buried under the new location, before the build commenced, and as a supporter of the project (my late father had worked on many of the iconic aircraft during WWII in RAF Bomber Command and later at RAE Thurleigh in Research & Development) I went along to see the ceremony.

The event included a short but poignant talk by VIP guest Alex Henshaw, MBE, the original Spitfire test pilot and a short display by the iconic WWII fighter, despite the drizzle

Sadly, Alex Henshaw died in 2007, aged 94 and never saw Air Space open to the public.

Alex Henshaw on Wikipedia

Imperial War Museum, Duxford

D-Day...the journey begins. by Shaun Armstrong

The D-Day beaches - September 2008 Why I'm a photographer.

I'm writing this around the 70th Anniversary of Operation Overlord, 6 June 1944; D-Day - the start of the end of the Second World War. It's a time of special remembrance, especially for the few veterans that still survive, and an opportunity for those not there to be reminded of the achievement and sacrifice.

But in addition, D-Day has a more poignant meaning for me as I was on the Normandy invasion beaches in 2008 when my father was critically injured in a fall at home. I never got to speak to him again. That event was the start of a sequence of events that reshaped my own history and journey, so every year I draw parallels...

The loss of a parent, besides the obvious emotional impact, is in a way like becoming a parent - a part of you changes; you evolve and you can never be the same again and no amount of information or good advice can prepare you. But after the dust has settled, it also gives you insight and perspective to life and perhaps a little wisdom.

Some six months after this event, I also lost my mother in equally sudden circumstances and was at a cross-roads career-wise so I chose to make my living as a photographer and artist.

I wanted to blend my career experience with my creative passion and I produce photography for business at mubsta.com. My artwork and photography is at shaunarmstrong.com.

It's not always been an easy path and "photographer" doesn't really sum it all up, but it has and continues to be full of challenges, great people and exciting opportunities and I have no regrets.

These are some of the last images I took in a much quieter Normandy, before "D-Day" and they continue to inform my work and style today...