Posts Tagged ‘August’

Commemorate Battle of Britain 80 at the RAF Museum

Sunday, August 30th, 2020

Battle of Britain 80 at RAF Museum Cosford

2020 marks the 80th anniversary of the Battle of Britain, widely recognised as the country’s finest hour. The Royal Air Force Museum is inviting the country to remember this significant story of bravery, international alliances and ingenuity both at the Museum and online.

The RAF Museum is FREE to enter and has sites at both London and the West Midlands. With wide open spaces both inside and out, the Museum is a great and safe day out for all the family and will be commemorating Battle of Britain 80 with a series of special events and exhibitions.

LONDON:
The London Museum is home to the most complete set of Battle of Britain aircraft in the world including the ‘fighter four’: Spitfire, Hurricane, Messerschmitt 109 and Fiat CR42, all participants in the Battle. This year they will be supported by new displays telling the wider Battle of Britain story, including an enigma machine, Dowding and Goering’s busts and medals, and Newall’s uniform. A new interactive will explain in an engaging way how the Dowding System worked, challenging the visitors to help detect the raids that happened on the 15 August 1940.

Complimenting the new display will be stunning year-long art exhibition: In Air and Fire: War Artists, the Battle of Britain and the Blitz. The exhibition will present over 50 works of art created in response to the war in the air by acclaimed artists such as Nash, Kennington, Laura Knight, Graham Sutherland, Nessler, Nevinson and Olga Lehmann. Many of these works have never been shown to the public.

COSFORD:
Home to the world’s oldest Spitfire, the Cosford Museum houses a collection of both British and German aircraft from the Battle of Britain era. The Spitfire forms the centerpiece of the new display, where the RAF’s frontline fighters, the Spitfire, Hurricane, Gladiator and Defiant are face to face with their German rivals the Me 109 and Ju88, to tell a coherent story. Previously unseen objects from the Museum’s collection including a Rhino suit worn by Defiant pilots, Dowding’s jacket, artefacts from the plotting rooms and medal bars, will share the stories of the people who helped win the Battle, in the air and on the ground. A highlight of the new display is James Nicolson’s flying jacket and medal bar containing his VC medal, the only VC awarded during the Battle. Nicolson also flew the Spitfire on display at Cosford.

ONLINE:
To ensure that everyone across the country is able to commemorate this historic occasion, the Museum has a number of online events as below.

Livestreamed Event
The Museum will be livestreaming a talk with Jim Nicolson’s Nephew; and a talk from the Air Historical Board.

Untold Battle of Britain Podcast
An exclusive podcast created in conjunction with The National Archive and the RAF, which looks at a range of untold and unheard stories from the Battle of Britain.

The Battle of Britain Bake
The Museum is inviting master bakers and baking novices alike to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the Battle of Britain by taking part in The Battle of Britain Bake, with a prize bundle worth £80 up for grabs. Make and bake your own Battle of Britain inspired cookies, cupcakes or cakes, and get creative with the decoration. Share a photo of your Battle of Britain inspired baked goods on social media and tag @rafmuseum to be in with a chance of winning. The winners of each category (Under 10s / 10-18 years / Over 18s) will receive a Battle of Britain prize bundle worth £80 from the RAF Museum Shop. Competition closes on Tuesday 15 September and winners will be announced on Sunday 20 September.

Virtual BoB celebrations
The Museum is also commemorating the Battle of Britain virtually this year with the Spitfire 10K and Spitfire Family Run. Complete 10K any time between the 29 August and 15 September, wherever and however you choose – running, cycling, rowing, or even walking the dog! Participants will then be rewarded with one of the highly sought after 2020 Spitfire 10K medals! Find out more and register online at rafmuseum.org.

Adopt a Battle of Britain Artefact
Support the Museum by adopting a Battle of Britain artefact. With several objects up for adoption including RAF flying ace Group Captain Sir Douglas Bader’s Logbook, entries record Bader’s flights and victories in wartime Britain as a Hurricane pilot, plus a selection of objects from the new displays including a Sector Room Clock and Aircraft Recognition Cards. For more details on how to Adopt an Artefact and to browse the items available, visit www.rafmuseum.org.uk/support-us/adopt-an-artefact.

For more information on Battle of Britain 80 anniversary activities at the RAF Museum visit www.rafmuseum.org.

The Museum is now open daily with a range of measures in place to ensure a safe and great day out for the whole family. While still offering FREE entry to all, visitors are kindly asked to pre-book their arrival time online at www.rafmuseum.org.

Brooklands to remember 88 killed in 1940 air raid

Thursday, August 27th, 2020

Hawker Hurricane factory

Brooklands Museum are holding a memorial service in remembrance of the 88 civilians killed at Brooklands in a German Air Raid who were manufacturing Wellington Bombers and Hawker Hurricanes for the Battle of Britain.

The service, led by The Bishop of Guildford will take place next Friday 4th September; 80 years since the famous Vickers Armstrong and Hawker factories were directly hit by the German Luftwaffe.

Friends and relatives of those killed will be invited to take a minute’s silence following the roll call of names at 1324hrs, the time of the bombing, before a celebration of their lives in the Garden of Memories.

The Museum is commemorating this anniversary with the opening of the new Air Raid Shelter Walkthrough Experience which features the images and voices of the men and women who survived the attack. The new exhibit has been funded by BAE Systems, formally British Aerospace Corporation including Vickers Armstrong.

The Brooklands Air Raid Shelter along with Brooklands motor racing circuit, the remains of the pre-World War II aerodrome, World War II Bofors tower, and the Brooklands memorial, are Scheduled Monuments with Historic England.

Do you know anyone who was involved in the attack or is a living friend or relative of someone who was? Please contact 80thanniversary@brooklandsmuseum.com to let us know.

www.brooklandsmuseum.com

Newark Air Museum Monospar Update

Monday, August 17th, 2020

Newark Air Museum Monospar Update

As volunteers have returned to work at Newark Air Museum in increasing numbers, long-term projects are once again slowly starting to receive attention again.

In recent weeks to distinctive VH-UTH identification markings have been reapplied to fuselage of the General Aircraft Monospar ST-12. This represents another step forward in this iconic project, which has drawn positive comments from around the world.

The project is still clearly visible to visitors in Display Hangar 1 as they are guided around the site’s one-way system that helps it comply with its Covid-Secure obligations, since reopening in early July.

A loss of revenue from not being able to open aircraft cockpits on a regular basis mean that the museum has also introduced a major fund raising campaign to help it continue with its diverse range of aircraft restoration projects. Their Just Giving page can be found here https://justgiving.com/campaign/Newark-Air-Museum-2020-Restorations

www.newarkairmuseum.org

Tri-Service Museums mark the 75th anniversary of VJ Day

Friday, August 7th, 2020

RAF Museum celebrates 75th Anniversary of VJ Day

TRI-SERVICE MUSEUMS AND COMMONWEALTH WAR GRAVES COMMISSION MARK THE 75TH ANNIVERSARY OF VJ DAY WITH VIRTUAL EVENTS PROGRAMME ‘VJ75: NEVER FORGOTTEN’

• Tri-Service museums join forces to mark the 75th anniversary of VJ Day from 14 – 16 August 2020
• A series of free virtual events will pay tribute to those who fought against the Japanese in the Far East Campaign
• ‘Never Forgotten’ a live debate will discuss how the conflict was fought on land, sea and air and how it continues to be commemorated today

Following the success of their VE Day Festival in May, The National Museum of the Royal Navy (NMRN), National Army Museum (NAM) and Royal Air Force Museum (RAFM) together with the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC), are coming together in a unique collaboration to mark the 75th anniversary of VJ Day with a series of free virtual events for the public to engage with from the safety and comfort of their home.

Taking place from Friday 14 August to Sunday 16 August 2020, the ambitious commemorations will feature a variety of online talks and events which will explore the contribution of the British and Commonwealth forces during the Far East Campaign in the closing months of the Second World War.

Although victory had been declared in Europe, the gruelling fight against Japan continued. From 1941 to 1945, the British Commonwealth Forces alongside the allies fought a bitter campaign in Asia. The fighting took place over challenging terrain, from the jungles of Burma to the remote islands of the Pacific, and always against a tenacious enemy. Despite the extraordinary nature of the far eastern element of the conflict, it remains less well known or recognised than the European elements of the war.

The programme of online events will begin on Friday 14 August and will see the tri-service museums introduce the Far East Campaign and explore its vast geographical spread. They will also share the rediscovered stories of individual service personnel who fought during this period. These online videos will be available to view via the museums’ individual digital channels.

The programme continues Saturday 15 August, the date of Japan’s surrender and the end of the Second World War, with ‘Never Forgotten: The War in the Far East and Modern Memory’. This exciting debate hosted by journalist and author Dr Shrabani Basu sees historians from the three museums and the CWGC discuss how the Far East Campaign was fought on land, sea and air and how it continues to be commemorated today. After the debate members of the public are invited to get involved in a live Q&A. This is a free event that will be broadcast on Crowdcast on Saturday 15 August at 2pm.

The final day of the commemorations on Sunday 16 August will see the three museums and the CWCG come together for the last time to discuss the popular cultural legacy of the war in the Far East. It will address topics such as why so many of our war films are only focussed on the war in Europe, and how the war is remembered today. Like the previous debate, this is also a free event that will be broadcast on Sunday 16 August at 2pm.

The full events programme can be found on the websites of The National Museum of the Royal Navy, the National Army Museum, the Royal Air Force Museum and the Commonwealth War Graves Commission by Monday 10 August 2020.

The museums are encouraging those joining to share pictures on social media with the hashtags #VJDay75 #NeverForgotten

www.rafmuseum.org

Virtual Bournemouth Air Festival 2020

Sunday, August 2nd, 2020

Bournemouth Air Festival 2020

A ‘take off’ of a different kind has been planned for what would have normally been Bournemouth’s summer highlight the much anticipated 13th air festival. This year, the team behind the event have been working with Centre VR in Bournemouth to broadcast an online festival – celebrating all that is loved about it…on land, at sea, in the air and community fun!

Broadcasting online and via social media platforms, the Virtual Air Festival 2020 will be live Friday 21st, Saturday 22nd and Sunday 23rd August from Europe’s largest VR Centre with support from Live TV. Entertainment will have hourly themes including Friday’s Royal Navy, Night Air and Air Festival Celebrations, Saturday’s Royal Air Force hour, the Red Arrows and Festival Fun and Sunday’s Daredevil Flying, Vintage Hour, a not to be missed Army slot.

There’s also the chance to find out more about the festival’s armed forces nominated charities, the Soldiers Charity, Royal Navy Royal Marines Charity, Royal Air Force Association and RAF Benevolent Fund.

Cllr Vikki Slade Leader BCP Council said: “The air festival is an integral part of our events calendar one which is enjoyed by hundreds of thousands of people. We want to broaden the programme to reflect the plans for 2021 to appeal to a wider audience, engaging both residents and visitors. The team have worked really hard to make sure we don’t miss the air festival. It’s a shame we’re not on the beach but the line-up is impressive with something for everyone.”

Supported by Wave105, Daily Echo and Hotel Miramar (supporters of the Strikemaster Pair and vintage hour prize), there will also be an art and craft session with Martin Bridge, who famously created the air show in his back garden for his family which went viral at the start of ‘lockdown’, and a specially recorded acoustic music set from Roy Stride, lead singer from Scouting for Girls, who have previously appeared on the Wave105 ‘Night Air Stage’.

Squadron Leader Martin Pert, Red 1 and Team Leader of the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, the Red Arrows, said: “We’re delighted to be supporting the virtual Bournemouth Air Festival – it’s one of our favourite, best-attended venues of the display season, and if we can’t be over the Pier or at a meet-and-greet on this occasion we’ll be online, doing something a little different for 2020.”

Presented by Andy Marlor who has previously fronted Air Festival TV and everyone’s favourite, voice of the air festival, George Bacon, entertainment is live online. Viewers can engage with competitions, including the chance to win exclusive prints and even help to design next year’s brochure front cover, fancy dress Friday, online voting and Facebook Q&A sessions with star pilots! You can tune in on the hour and watch back online via the official YouTube channel Love Bournemouth – so you can pick and choose what you want to watch without having to watch it all day.

David Bailey, chairman of the BCP Destination Management Board said: “The tourism industry always looks forward to the air festival, the footfall, the incredible amount of money spent within the local economy and the chance for us to really showcase our wonderful resort. It’s important we keep going in these unprecedented times and a move for 2020 to a virtual event is going to be great fun – we are obviously looking forward to welcoming festival goers back next year. Huge thanks to everyone who has given their support including pilots, display teams the armed forces, local businesses and of course Centre VR for their incredible team, venue and technology!”

The Air Festival will be back 2nd-5th September 2021.

www.bournemouthair.co.uk/virtualair

Brooklands Museum awarded emergency Heritage Lottery Fund grant

Sunday, August 2nd, 2020

Brooklands Museum

Brooklands Museum, heritage site and home to an incredible collection of cars and aircraft, including Concorde, has been awarded a grant of £250,000 from The National Lottery Heritage Fund to help secure its future.

Like many organisations up and down the country, Brooklands Museum is facing financial challenges as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Whilst the Museum was closed the cost of looking after the Museum’s collections, buildings and site continued.

Tamalie Newbery, Director and CEO for Brooklands Museum said:
“This grant enables Brooklands Museum to remain open to visitors and continue its work preserving the Brooklands site and collection, to inspire generations of the future. We’re grateful that The National Lottery Heritage Fund is supporting us at this crucial time – it’s a lifeline to us and others who are passionate about sustaining heritage for the benefit of all.”

The funding, made possible by National Lottery players, was awarded through The National Lottery Heritage Fund’s Heritage Emergency Fund. £50million has been made available to provide emergency funding for those most in need across the heritage sector.

The UK-wide fund will address both immediate emergency actions and help organisations to start thinking about recovery.

Ros Kerslake, Chief Executive of The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said:
“Heritage has an essential role to play in making communities better places to live, supporting economic regeneration, and benefiting our personal wellbeing. All these things are going to be even more important as we emerge from this current crisis.

Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players we are pleased to be able to lend our support to organisations such as Brooklands Museum during this uncertain time.”
Like Brooklands Museum, other charities and organisations across the UK that have been affected by the unprecedented impact of the coronavirus outbreak are being given access to a comprehensive package of support of up to £600 million of repurposed money from The National Lottery. This money is supporting some of the most vulnerable people in our communities and span the arts, community, charity, heritage, education, environment and sports sectors.

National Lottery players raise an average of £30 million every week for good causes, including heritage of local and national importance. By playing The National Lottery, people up and down the country are making an amazing contribution to the nationwide-response to combatting the impact of COVID-19 on local communities across the UK.

Brooklands Museum reopens to the public on Saturday 1st August, visitors are able to book tickets in advance to step back in time and see up-close, the cars that raced across Brooklands’ famous race circuit over a hundred years ago. The aircraft on display were all built at Brooklands, including the Hurricane, the Wellington Bomber, and of course Concorde. Timed-entry ticket to the Museum can be booked online at www.brooklandsmuseum.com

Celebration of 20 Years’ Work of Volunteer Team who Brought a WWII Hurricane back to life

Wednesday, August 28th, 2019

Brooklands Hurricane

The Worshipful the Mayor of the Borough of Elmbridge, local Councillors and VIPs will be joining a gathering of Trustees and supporters from Brooklands Museum to celebrate the achievements of a dedicated team of volunteers who have restored a Hawker Hurricane aircraft.

The Hurricane was Britain’s most successful fighter aircraft of the WWII era and was designed by Sydney Camm at nearby Kingston. It was assembled and first flown in prototype form at Brooklands in November 1935. Altogether, 3,012 Hurricanes were produced at Brooklands – one fifth of the total built. When the Battle of Britain was fought in the summer of 1940, it was due to the tremendous production and test flying effort at Brooklands and other factories, and to the skills of the RAF pilots, that the Hurricane became the chief victor of this decisive engagement. Almost 25% of all RAF fighters in this conflict were Brooklands-built Hurricanes.

On permanent display as part of the vast collection of aircraft at Brooklands Museum is Hawker Hurricane Z2389. Built in 1940 it served with five different RAF Squadrons in 1941, including the American volunteer 71 ‘Eagle’ Squadron at Martlesham Heath. As part of emergency war supplies for Russia, it was shipped to Murmansk on 21st May 1942. On the 20th June 1942, it engaged two Messerschmitt Bf109Fs and five Bf110s over a remote part of Murmansk but was shot down along with two other Hurricanes. The pilot, F/Lt Ivan Kalashnikov survived the forced landing.

Fifty years later it was found by Russian historians, recovered in 1996 and then acquired by Brooklands Museum in 1997. It became the first historic aircraft to be purchased with a Heritage Lottery Fund grant.

The Hurricane volunteer restoration team assembled in 1999 and has worked up until 2019 to complete the incredible restoration of this aircraft. As well as the work itself, the team, alongside Museum staff, have sourced materials, spares and raised money. Their biggest and most memorable achievement has to be sourcing a Merlin Mark II engine entirely by chance when an interested visitor said he had one sitting in his garage!

It has taken the team 60,000 dedicated man hours to rebuild the steel and wooden structure, stitch the fabric on the fuselage, paint the wings, restore the cockpit and plot’s seat to bring this iconic British aircraft to its present form. Furthermore, they have introduced this specialist area of restoration work to younger generations by encouraging Duke of Edinburgh participants to assist them; some members who completed the required levels have chosen to stay on and join the Museum’s volunteer programme.

Now, visitors to the Museum can see an original Hawker Hurricane that saw active war-time service. This milestone will be celebrated on 3rd September, 80 years to the day that Britain announced it was at war with Germany.

www.brooklandsmuseum.com

P-8A US Navy support this year’s Air Festival at Bournemouth

Tuesday, August 27th, 2019

US Navy P-8A

The U.S. Navy has confirmed their P-8A Poseidon Surveillance Aircraft will be flying past Friday afternoon at this year’s Air Festival. This specific Boeing plane has been developed for the U.S. Navy (USN) and modified from the Boeing 737-800. Powered by two turbo fans and with a wingspan of nearly 40metres it’s going to be an incredible sight.

First flown in 2009 the P-8A will be the youngest aircraft participating at the festival. With a military naval role, it doesn’t transport passengers but fulfils one of the primary mission of USN anti-submarine warfare.

LT Justin Branch, lead U.S. Navy Officer said: “It’s a privilege to support the Air Festival, this is our second engagement taking place in the UK this year and it is always a privilege to be included in these events. We receive amazing support and eagerly anticipate opportunities to strengthen relationships with our allies and showcase the P-8A Poseidon.”.

Chris Saunders, Head of Operations, Tourism added; “The aircraft will be part of Friday’s line up, to have U.S. Navy support, and importantly for them to see the significance of the festival, really highlights the strong relationships we have with our Armed Forces partners.”

Regarded as the UK’s most successful civilian air show with brilliant day and night time entertainment in the skies, on land and in the evening, the 12th Air Festival, takes place 29th August – 1st September 2019.

For details visit www.bournemouthair.co.uk

Life Stories: the RAF and me

Thursday, August 22nd, 2019

Air Commodore Paul Godfrey

Date: 31 Aug / 14 Sep / 12 Oct 2019
Time: 2.00pm – 3.00pm
Cost: FREE

A new series of talks from the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford entitled ‘Life Stories’, will share the unique experiences of guest speakers, from their time serving in the Royal Air Force.

The new ‘Life Stories’ talks form part of the Museum’s RAF Stories project, an online collection accessible for everyone to submit, share and explore stories of people’s personal connections to the RAF.

RAF Museum Community Engagement Officer: RAF Stories, Jess Boydon said:
“The forthcoming talks are an opportunity for interested members of the public to hear first-hand some of the great stories already captured by the project. Held in the Museum’s National Cold War Exhibition Lecture Theatre, each talk held on Saturday afternoons, will have a key guest speaker and will cover a range of thought provoking topics.”

31 August: Battle of Britain Memorial Flight
Air Commodore Paul Godfrey spent three seasons with the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (BBMF), flying the Spitfire, Hurricane and Chipmunk aircraft. During this talk, Paul will share his knowledge of the BBMF and his most memorable experiences. The mission of the RAF BBMF is to maintain these priceless artefacts of our national heritage in an airworthy condition, so that the BBMF may commemorate those who have fallen in the service of this country, promote the modern day Air Force and inspire the future generations. Flown by regular serving RAF Aircrew, the Flight operates six Spitfires, two Hurricane Mk 2Cs, a Lancaster as well as a C47 Dakota and two Chipmunk aircraft.

14 September: Life Stories: From Basra to Sydney
Sgt Paul ‘Twitch’ Twitchell will take you on a gritty, emotional, funny and inspirational journey through his battle with mental health illness. Following several tours of Iraq carrying out bomb disposal duties, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) all but destroyed everything dear to him. Saved by an extremely unlikely stranger, Prince Harry sparked the fire under Twitch that would see him transform from a suicidal PTSD sufferer to an Invictus Games medallist.

12 October: Life Stories: True Colours
Caroline Paige is a retired Royal Air Force navigator with a thirty-five year flying career that includes air defence fighters during the Cold War and troop helicopters in Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan. But against a background of contemporary conflict, and the demanding environment of military aviation, her story reveals a remarkable journey of inspirational courage and endurance, in overcoming adversity in an unforgiving world. In 1999, after a life-long struggle to hide her gender identity became too much to bear, Caroline informed the RAF of her intention to transition gender. Controversially at the time, she was permitted to remain in service, becoming the first transgender officer to openly serve in the British Armed Forces. Her story tells how she rose against extraordinary challenges to remain on the front-line of military flying, serving a further sixteen years, and silencing outspoken critics by earning several commendations for ‘exceptional service’ in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The talks will commence at 2.00pm and are free to attend, lasting approximately one hour, including time for questions. As spaces are limited, visitors are advised to book their tickets in advance via the Museum’s website www.rafmuseum.org/cosford to avoid disappointment.

For anyone who would like to contribute to the RAF Stories project, download the free RAF Stories App, where you can discover and share the stories of others, or record and upload your own using your mobile device, keeping the story alive and relevant for generations to come. Visit www.rafstories.org for more details.

The RAF Stories project is proudly supported by National Lottery Players through the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Shackleton Boys 2 Book Launch To Be Hosted at Newark Air Museum

Tuesday, August 20th, 2019

Shackleton Boys 2

The Newark Air Museum is hosting a two day event to celebrate the Shackleton Boys 2 book launch. This is one of many similar titles published by Grub Street and it features many stories from former Avro Shackleton aircrew.

The event will take place on Saturday 31st August and Sunday 1st September 2019, between 10am and 5pm each day (last admission at 4pm), and it will be centred around Avro Shackleton MR.3 Phase 3 WR977 that was dismantled and moved to the museum by road in spring 1977. To this day this is still the largest aircraft dismantling project ever undertaken by the museum and its volunteers.

Over both days, more than twenty five (25) contributors to the book will be in attendance to sign copies of the book. They, along with other former Shackleton veterans will be meeting each other and also meeting and talking with the museum visitors. Details of the reunion aspect of the event are being co-ordinated via the author Steve Bond and the publishers Grub Street. Amongst the Shackleton veterans there will be people who flew Shackleton WR977 in attendance.

This event is open to the general public & normal museum admission rates apply: Adults £9.00, Over 65s £8.00, Children £4.50 and Family ticket [2 adults & 3 children] £24.00

On both days of the event there will be a flypast by aircraft from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.

www.newarkairmuseum.org