Express & Star

Cosford RAF Museum to host weekend-long Cuban Missile Crisis event

Re-enactors at the RAF Museum Midlands will explore how the Cuban Missile Crisis in October 1962 brought the world to the brink of Armageddon.

The Cuban Missile Crisis audio visual hotspot at the museum

The weekend event, from October 29 to 30, will reflect on the Cuban Missile Crisis, 60 years on since the political tension between the Soviet Union and the United States brought the two countries close to war over the presence of Soviet nuclear-armed missiles in Cuba.

In a series of workshops, demonstrations, and object-handling sessions, visitors will discover more about the tense 13-day political stand-off between the two superpowers, and the impending countdown to nuclear war, as they step back in time with re-enactors from Up an’ at ‘em! History.

On a journey through the Museum’s National Cold War Exhibition, visitors can find out how members of the Civil Defence Corps, RAF V-Bomber Pilots, Royal Observer Corps, British Army Berlin Brigade and US Air Force dealt with the crisis.

People will be able to step back in time with re-enactors at the event

Suitable for visitors of all ages, there will also be the opportunity to take a close look at the uniforms, kit and equipment used at pop-up stations dotted around the hangar.

Once people have brushed up on their knowledge with the re-enactors, families are invited to take part in an interactive Cuban Missile Crisis strategy game.

Delivered by the Foreign Field Living History Group, the game reflects the events leading up to the Cuban Missile Crisis.

An interactive Cuban Missile Crisis strategy game.

People will be challenged to see if they have got what it takes to make quick decisions to choose the route through the diplomatic nightmare – ordering blockades, airstrikes, reconciliations, olive branches and brinksmanship while doing their level best to avoid the outbreak of an un-winnable war.

The game can be played by all ages either individually or in groups.

The weekend activities will take place inside the National Cold War Exhibition hangar, featuring aircraft, vehicles, equipment, and people stories from the Cold War period, including an immersive audio visual Cuban Missile Crisis hotspot.

Entry to the Museum and participation in the re-enactment activities is free.

People will be able to step back in time with re-enactors at the event

On Friday, October 28, the museum will also host a free lecture suitable for adults, entitled ‘Cuban Missile Crisis – How close did Britain come to Armageddon’.

Commencing at 12.30pm, Bill Pyke, an independent air power researcher, will discuss how and why the Cuban Missile Crisis occurred, what preparations were in place in the UK’s top secret ‘War Book’, and what lessons we can take away from the experience.

The free lecture will be hosted in the museum’s lecture theatre with a live audience and will also be live streamed online via Crowdcast.

For more information and to pre-book your arrival time about the weekend event, and to book a place at the lecture, visit