The Memorial Museum Building houses an ever increasing number of memorabilia, both military and civil, mainly from the 1939-45 World War II period and which are well worth viewing.
The Spitfire Memorial Museum Building was officially opened on 13th June 1981 to house Spitfire TB752 and was the very first building to be erected on any RAF Station to house a gate-guardian aircraft. The Building cost some £30,000; the funding for this came from voluntary fund raising efforts and by donation from the people of Thanet.
The Hurricane Memorial Museum Building was officially opened by Dame Vera Lynn on the 7th October, 1988 to house Hurricane LF751. The Building cost in excess of £100,000, being appreciably larger than the companion building and also provided an area for a sales counter. Both buildings are still unique to any RAF Station; a fact of which RAF Manston is justifiably proud.
No charge is made for admission but as the Memorial Museum Building is totally self-funding a large selection of aviation related items is available for purchase. In particular the collection of framed prints must be amongst the largest in the country and many of these are 'limited-editions'. All help is voluntary and no assistance is received from public or service funds. Donations are also much appreciated.
The Spitfire and Hurricane Memorial Museum Building is open throughout the year (with the exception of Christmas and Boxing Days). Opening times are normally from 10.00 am to 5.00 pm British Summer Time and 4.00 pm during the Winter Time. There is a large car/coach park available. Coach and school parties are particularly welcome and can usually be accommodated but a prior notice telephone call on 01843 821940 is appreciated.
During 1993, the Merlin Cafeteria was opened with fine views across the airfield, particularly from the patio area. There are associated toilets with provision for the handicapped.