John Pinnington joined the Museum in October 2017 and started with us as a Fun ‘n’ Flight explainer and has also become a volunteer tour guide.
How does tour guiding work at RAF Museum?
When an individual or group signs up for a tour on the RAF Museum website a notification is sent to a member of staff. They will post it on to our system [MyImpactPage.com] and those who would like to deliver the tour, sign up to it. Out of the tour guides who signed up, a member of staff will pick the tour guide for that activity so each volunteer takes relatively the same amount of tours over a certain period of time.
How much freedom do you have when conducting the tours?
The disciplines/ restrictions you have are mainly self-imposed, how long you spend on a certain section or piece of collection is up to you. Mostly I enjoy giving the visitors the option of what they would like to hear about within the given time frame. It doesn’t necessarily always have to be the Hangars they booked, but the size of the tour has a large part to play in this.
What was it like becoming a tour guide for the Museum?
I was lucky enough to have been trained as a tour guide prior to joining the Museum however there were still things I needed to learn when I came to the RAF Museum. Most obviously the knowledge of the collection, but I also needed to learn the different presentation styles depending on the type and size of group that will be receiving the tour. My tours tend to focus on the stories surrounding the collection and the crews that operated them, this is where the interest of most of the visitors on my tour lie.
What is it about tour guiding that you enjoy the most?
Making the use of my knowledge and enthusiasm so people can get more out of their day at the Museum. But also bringing the collection alive for people through the stories of individuals that I share.
Please click here to read another article by a Fun N Flight volunteer by Jim Griffiths.