A NEW director has taken over at the Yorkshire Air Museum and Allied Air Forces Memorial with a vision to shed more light on the untold human stories behind the artefacts.

Barbara George has become the first female to hold the post at the Elvington-based museum, having worked there since 2014, assuming the role of deputy director in 2017.

She succeeds Ian Reed, who helped turn the museum from an amateur hobbyist organisation into a professional, award-winning business. A previous York Ambassador winner at the Visit York Tourism Award he oversaw numerous changes and successes at the attraction.

A museum spokesman said it was moving into a new era of development.

With the Board of Trustees, Barbara is launching a new museum strategy with the ethos 'To Honour, Educate and Inspire’.

She said: “Traditionally the role of museums used to be to collect and preserve objects and showcase them to the public. However, current visitors are now demanding a less static and more engaging and fulfilling experience. Our new strategy and ethos will place the visitor journey and learning at the heart of everything we do.

“We want to empower people to take their own journeys of discovery at the Yorkshire Air Museum. We also want to make our collections and stories relevant to the diverse audiences who visit us. One of the purposes of our strategy has been to rethink our mission as an organisation. We are satisfied our new mission encompasses the values that our museum and memorial want to stand for."

Barbara has been instrumental in attracting more families to the museum and developing its educational programme, increasing school visits by 300 per cent.

"We have a very strong heritage here and many untold stories. I am keen to tell the human stories. We have a lot of planes and exhibits but what about the people who flew those planes, what about the emotions of the airmen?"

She added: “I am very excited about our upcoming summer events, particularly our celebration of 50 years since the moon landing on July 21 which will be so much fun, followed by our family day on July 28 and our revamped Thunder Day on August 18. In between, there will be an action-packed summer of activities at the museum and much work to be done on planning new exhibitions.”