6 ISSUES FOR £6 Subscribe to Kent Life today CLICK HERE

New Biggin Hill Memorial Museum honours 'the Few'

PUBLISHED: 13:39 28 February 2019

Members of 610 Squadron at Biggin Hill (photo: Bob Ogley Collection)

Members of 610 Squadron at Biggin Hill (photo: Bob Ogley Collection)

Archant

Following a 16-month construction project, the new museum has opened its doors to visitors, offering them the chance to experience the inspirational history of Britain's most famous airfield

Following a 16-month construction project, the new Biggin Hill Memorial Museum has opened its doors to visitors, offering them the chance to experience the inspirational history of Britain’s most famous airfield.

The museum tells the story of Biggin Hill through the experiences of the people who served and lived there. It also secures the future of the Grade II-listed

St George’s RAF Chapel of Remembrance, the moving memorial to the 454 pilots killed flying from RAF Biggin Hill during the Second World War, built in 1951 at the behest of Sir Winston Churchill.

First established in 1917 as a testing ground for pioneering developments in flight, it is RAF Biggin Hill’s role in the Battle of Britain that defines its history. Part of a chain of airfields that protected the capital, Churchill described RAF Biggin Hill as ‘the strongest link’.

The inspirational experiences of ‘the Few’, who risked their lives in defence of the nation, and ‘the Many’ who supported them on the ground are revealed via a wealth of newly discovered archives and collections. From the fighter pilots facing the realities of aerial combat to children scavenging souvenirs from the battles overhead, the story told by the museum is above all about the people who served, worked and lived there.

More than 80 exhibits, many donated by the public, are included in the interactive, multi-media display. The museum is split into ‘themes’ – Early Years, Station Life, Community Life and Remembering.

Audio guide commentary is led by historian Dan Snow, who is joined by the voices of veterans including the late Geoffrey Wellum (the youngest Spitfire pilot to fly in the Battle of Britain at just 19 years of age) and Tom Neil.

A visit to the Museum climaxes in thought-provoking displays on combat, bravery, fear and loss.

Building and conservation work started in September 2017, following a National Lottery funding award of £2m from the Heritage Lottery Fund. Other funds included a £2m from Central Government along with grants from Bromley Council and other fundraising, bhmm.org.uk.

More from People

Kent Life celebrates the local charities offering safe homes to abused or unwanted animals in the county

Read more

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Air Ambulance Kent Surrey Sussex serving the residents of Kent

Read more
Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Take a step back in time to the good old days with these vintage videos from around Kent

Read more

The men who fought in the Battle of Britain included civilians who joined the RAF as reservists. Here are the stories of four brave Kent men

Read more

If you love being active and out in the fresh air, there are plenty of ways you can combine both with helping your community

Read more
Monday, June 10, 2019

Yannick Chastang on parental influence, a youthful calling and his passion for conservation

Read more

Wondering whether to enter this year's competition to find Kent's Best collectors? Take inspiration from 2018 winner Angela Clark

Read more

Wherever you go in Kent you'll find people just like us pounding the streets, parks and waterways. So why are we all running?

Read more
May 2019

Nicola Leverington, aka the Wedding Dress Surgeon, on achieving the perfect fit and her new training courses

Read more
May 2019

Fine Art graduate Arianne Mills on having quite possibly the best job in Kent

Read more
April 2019

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory
Kent Life Food & Drink awards. Open for entries.

Subscribe or buy a mag today


subscription ad


Follow us on Twitter


Like us on Facebook


Local Business Directory

Search For a Car In Your Area

Property Search

Most Read

Latest from the Kent Life