Horsa glider with troops with soldiers inside

A HUGELY popular online lecture series, produced by a local military museum, smashed its audience record last week.

Made in partnership with the Army Flying Museum (AFM) and Soldiers of Oxfordshire (SOFO) Museum, the live audience reached 800 viewers, while overnight that number rose to well over 5,000.

The Pegasus Bridge Story, was the latest offering from the AFM’s monthly Lockdown Lecture Series, which was broadcast on Thursday (21 January).

Ella Clayton, series producer, said:

Typically we would get around 250 viewers on the live broadcast and that number would rise to 1,000 after broadcast, to reach 500 live was always the ambition but with more online material available for people to watch we never thought it would be possible, so this is an incredible moment.

Having watched our Op DEADSTICK lecture, which told the incredible story of the greatest coup de main assault in wartime history, SOFO felt there was a great sequel lecture to tell the story of what happened next after the gliders had landed, and approached us about a collaborative production.

We’ve been overwhelmed by messages of support and congratulations.

People from far and wide who had relatives who were part of the Operation have sent personal pictures, requests for group lectures and also other Museums who are keen to start their own online lecture series have also been in touch to see how we can help.

This is a real team effort to make this a success, and our thanks must go to our presenters, David Innes from the Soldiers of Oxfordshire Museum and Paul Beaver.

Also Clive, our technical support, Heidi, who edits and makes the lectures come to life, and to our internal Museum team who help promote the event.

Borne from the Middle Wallop based museum’s desire to maintain audience engagement during the first lockdown, and originally recorded on an iPhone, the lockdown lectures were a remote collaborative effort which produced and edited content for a monthly lecture series, which would be broadcast and followed by a live Q&A with its presenter.

Despite being closed to the public for large parts of 2020 and early 2021 the Museum still managed to attract a global audience from countries including the United States, South Africa, New Zealand, Canada, Peru and Brazil.

Since its inception the series has become more and more sophisticated with, now, state-of-the-art recording and broadcasting equipment, with location shoots when possible.

The lectures have even now received sponsorship from Armed Forces support services company, Landmarc.

The next lecture, V is for Valour, takes place at 7pm on Monday 22 February for more info visit www.armyflying.com/lockdown-lectures.

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