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RAF Museum Hendon - Closure / Dispersion of Battle of Britain Hall

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  • RogerN
    Rank 5 Registered User
    • Apr 2011
    • 167

    I think we all agree that the closure/break up of the RAFM Battle of Britian Hall is not the way to go! The Hall has been open in the same format for nearly all its existence and had got as an exhibit very tired and was in need of a revamp. This would mean closure of the hall in much the same way as the American Museum at Duxford, I do think it is wrong to break up this collection and I'm sure a way could have been found to keep it together in order to tell the story to future generations just as it has to past generations! Just my opinion.

    Roger

    Comment

    • stuart gowans
      Not a real Spitfire
      • Dec 2005
      • 2005

      [QUOTE=Wings43;2330787]Managers and consultants are professionals? How are they not?[/QUOTE

      When they don't understand the subject; all too frequently managers are brought in to manage an issue within an environment that they know nothing about, consultants offer advice based on the problem you put before them, that could be low visitor numbers, or low turnover / profit, and there is a "business" model for museums that is easy to fall back on which speaks of interactive displays, ethnic inclusion, schools, cafeteria and shop standardisation etc, none of which makes a blind bit of difference.
      A fundamental flaw with Hendon is it's location, it's a crap place to get too, and the local population have no links to or interest in the BoB or indeed the exploits of the RAF in general; in my view Hendon is the museum's equivalent of a dead man walking.
      Last edited by stuart gowans; 7th December 2016, 16:40. Reason: a word
      Why be your own worse critic, that's what the forum is for.

      Comment

      • Bruce
        Independent analyst
        • Jan 2000
        • 10222

        Actually I agree with your last statement Stuart - were it not for the investment in the Graham White Factory buildings, I would be a strong advocate for moving the whole lot somewhere else.

        Comment

        • Creaking Door
          Rank 5 Registered User
          • Sep 2006
          • 9863

          Why not leave a Graham White Factory 'enclave' at Hendon and move the rest elsewhere?
          WA$.

          Comment

          • vultee35
            Rank 5 Registered User
            • Mar 2005
            • 1747

            I always thought Bicester would have made a nice location, allowing a supporting airshow, fly-ins and "Roll Out Days" when some of the collection could have been brought outdoors for photo shoots and a nice background. So long as airframes and artifacts aren't destroyed, what ever is being done now can be un-done or improved in by future generations.

            I'm firmly in the tin shed, drip trays and wheel chocks camp. Cafes and theme parks should be secondary to the exhibits in any national musuem.
            Stephen Carr

            Only dead fish swim with the stream.

            See my Websites Here

            Comment

            • Meddle
              Rank Bajin.
              • Sep 2014
              • 1626

              Hendon is easier to get to than Duxford, if you are going by public transport at least! Simply get the tube to Colindale and walk a bit. Easier and cheaper than getting a train to Whittlesford Parkway and then ambling along the side of a motorway for a stretch.

              Comment

              • Pen Pusher
                Rank 5 Registered User
                • Mar 2005
                • 2657

                Whittlesford to Duxford takes me 25 minutes and at no time do you have to go 'ambling along the side of a motorway' besides 'ambling along the side of a motorway' is against the law.

                Brian
                The Future Of Photography Is Mirrorless

                DUXFORDfotoGALLERY
                DfG on Facebook

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                • TonyL1962
                  Rank 5 Registered User
                  • Mar 2014
                  • 84

                  I don't have a problem with Hendon - it's a national museum and as such is in the National 'hub' within London (though maybe a section of Hyde Park could be obtained to give a more central location in the 'museum quarter'?). As an infrequent UK visitor these days Cosford (or some of the other suggested sites above) are significantly more of a pain to get to than Hendon!

                  I also think it was time for a grand reshuffle - so am not too alarmed at the break up of the 'Battle of Britain' display - had always (since first visiting in around 1982) thought the collection of German aircraft there was misleading, and several could have been better used to tell the Bomber Command story than pretending to be representative of Battle of Britain types. And if you were going to have a collection of German aircraft, then stick them all together... However now, if you look at what the RAFM has in stock, there is huge opportunity to revolve displays through London to pair off RAF and 'enemy' aircraft to tell stories of various operational theaters and conflicts. Overall the collection is unparalleled anywhere and the scope to rotate exhibits and keep the museum changing and interesting to the public has to be enormous. Good luck to them!

                  Comment

                  • aeronut 2008
                    Rank 5 Registered User
                    • Jan 2008
                    • 1565

                    I've recently been involved with a consultation exercise led by the Heritage Lottery Fund for the museum where I volunteer. I made a point of mentioning this disregard of RAF history along with my pet gripes of architectural masterpieces that disregard basic Health and Safety (Cold War Museum at Cosford), museums that think you don't need any artefacts on exhibit (IWM North and this revamp of Hendon) and the lack of a natural flow or labelling of exhibits (IWM Lambeth).
                    I was listened to patiently and my views were noted but whether the museum ends up as one I can live with only time will tell. Whilst I too am in the tin shed, drip trays and wheel chocks camp I appreciate the role of the small artefacts and personal ephemera that have disappeared from RAFM Hendon.

                    Of course that depends where you start from.
                    As to whether Hendon is still the right place for the RAFM I've said it before that moving it to Kenley would keep it within the M25 (for the tourists) and put it back into the context of an airfield - and one with a BoB heritage at that.

                    Comment

                    • Trolly Aux
                      Rank 5 Registered User
                      • May 2006
                      • 3799

                      Originally posted by Rocketeer View Post
                      Went back last week. The former BoB hall is fenced off and has lots of skips around it. It looks sad and forlorn. Apparently lots of the ancillary stuff ended up in those skips, mannequins, supporting displays. An enlightened museum would have offered these to other museums. Indeed the RAFM used to store such items and then, when cardington closed, offered them thru the BAPC to museums with less money.
                      The pendulum has swung....from the BoB beacon, which does not look so crazy now, to the wanton destruction of a national treasure.
                      I realise this will provoke some strong comments suggesting I am backward looking or just a cranky enthusiast who does not give the kids what they want. But it is sad and shows more dumbing down of history to fit the temporary and disposable world we live in where z list celebrities are kings and queens and real heroes, heroines and role models are forgotten.
                      You are so right Tony well said
                      SMOKE SMOKE GO!
                      TA out

                      Comment

                      • windhover
                        Rank 5 Registered User
                        • Jan 2014
                        • 331

                        Same old story... two types of museum personnel: T
                        The suits (Managers and Consultants) who talk about it
                        and the restoration/conservation skilled staff who actually get their hands dirty.

                        Comment

                        • hawker1966
                          Rank 5 Registered User
                          • Nov 2010
                          • 698

                          I have to admit as i have said before i visit Hendon some 10 times a year not because its free but the main reason is the Battle of Britain hall.. for me a very personal side of the story (aircraft related) as just witnessing those aircraft under one roof sends chills down the spine, the only thing missing for me was a more detailed description of each aircraft i could never get my head round why this was never achieved,as how long would this of taken to add to each display.. also i would of liked to of seen a few more relics of the battle on display although there are a few that have been there since the opening of the hall of which are a treasure in there own right, but the displays never appeared to change much over the years that i visited..

                          I for one wont be going back to often as for me personally the main attraction has been lost..

                          Still its going to be good news for the ever expanding Museum in Hawkinge. as i will certainly be paying them more visits next year as this museum certainly puts the likes of Hendon to shame in respect of telling the story of those dark days and nights of 1940..

                          Comment

                          • DaveF68
                            Rank 5 Registered User
                            • Jun 2004
                            • 1790

                            The most ridiculous things was deciding to put the RAF Museum at a site which wasn't going to be an active airfield (Just because it HAD to be in London?)

                            Comment

                            • Meddle
                              Rank Bajin.
                              • Sep 2014
                              • 1626

                              Originally posted by Pen Pusher View Post
                              Whittlesford to Duxford takes me 25 minutes and at no time do you have to go 'ambling along the side of a motorway' besides 'ambling along the side of a motorway' is against the law.

                              Brian
                              You are proving my point. 25 minutes of walking versus the ~5 from Colindale to Hendon. To get to Duxford, I was advised to get a train to Whittlesford Parkway, then follow Royston Road, and the footpath it becomes that follows the North side of the A505. You still have to cross both slip roads from the A505 to the M11 and cross the A505 itself to get to Duxford. Not a herculean task, but still a shade unfriendly and off-putting in terms of public transport access. Other options are an expensive Taxi or use one of the Cambridge/Duxford bus services. Nothing seems to link the museum itself to any settlements nearby, except for a shuttle bus from Cambridge on airshow days.

                              Comment

                              • Creaking Door
                                Rank 5 Registered User
                                • Sep 2006
                                • 9863

                                Originally posted by Meddle View Post
                                Nothing seems to link the museum itself to any settlements nearby...
                                You did notice that Duxford is an operational airfield, right?

                                By their very definition they tend to be, you know, out in the open countryside!
                                WA$.

                                Comment

                                • Pen Pusher
                                  Rank 5 Registered User
                                  • Mar 2005
                                  • 2657

                                  Originally posted by Meddle View Post
                                  Nothing seems to link the museum itself to any settlements nearby, except for a shuttle bus from Cambridge on airshow days.
                                  Or the daily Whippet 7A Babraham Road Park & Ride which stops at Whittlesford and Heathfield, which is the stop near the garage opposite the American Air Museum.

                                  Brian
                                  The Future Of Photography Is Mirrorless

                                  DUXFORDfotoGALLERY
                                  DfG on Facebook

                                  Comment

                                  • DCW
                                    DCW
                                    David Whitworth
                                    • Sep 2010
                                    • 2437

                                    Don't forget the Duxford 132 Bus, though it is Sundays only:

                                    http://www.travelineeastanglia.org.u...EA_97_24220765
                                    20,000 http://www.flickr.com/photos/dwhitworth/

                                    Comment

                                    • Trolly Aux
                                      Rank 5 Registered User
                                      • May 2006
                                      • 3799

                                      I wonder what happened to Sub Lt Blakes Spitfire windscreen I am sure that went missing years ago, any ideas?

                                      The BoB Museum should have revamped the collection, yes by all means remove and rebuild but to break that lot up is still sacrilege to what that building was built for, cut the C7ap it could have been updated without this disposal to all points and yes Bruce wait and see, see what? its to late
                                      SMOKE SMOKE GO!
                                      TA out

                                      Comment

                                      • Rocketeer
                                        trying harder
                                        • Jan 2005
                                        • 5243

                                        So, we know/believe lots of stuff from the BoB went in the skip....Churchill, the mannequins....so what has happened or is planned for the stuff in the photos? The windscreen referred to earlier is shown. Hope they did not also skip the Ops Room? I would have given a home to it and many of the mannequins and other items including backdrops. Many museums would have loved this stuff too.
                                        I know that some RAFM people watch this forum....so answers would be appreciated?
                                        Attached Files
                                        Tony Dyer
                                        https://www.facebook.com/TheAirDefen...homepage_panel

                                        Comment

                                        • Duggy
                                          Flight SIM Pilot
                                          • Mar 2012
                                          • 1132

                                          Not sure if this has been posted.
                                          Northrop Grumman Supports Centenary Programme to Transform Royal Air Force Museum, London


                                          LONDON Dec. 7, 2016 Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) has entered into a sponsor partnership with the Royal Air Force (RAF) Museum to support the museums RAF Centenary Programme that will transform its London site as part of the Royal Air Forces centenary celebrations in 2018.

                                          The museums plans include a series of new permanent exhibitions which will open in the summer of 2018. Northrop Grumman will be a themed sponsor in the new Now & the Future exhibition area with a particular emphasis on air intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, and unmanned aircraft systems. The Now & the Future exhibit area will enable visitors to understand the story of the RAF from its earliest years in the First World War to its global role today.

                                          The RAF Museum plays an important role in ensuring the RAFs story endures and inspires future generations, said Andrew Tyler, chief executive, Northrop Grumman Europe. Through our partnership with the museum we have an exciting opportunity to play our part in educating and informing visitors about the technology innovations of today and the future, and encourage a deeper interest in aeronautics among all age groups.

                                          The multi-million pound development programme will transform the London site through investment in new exhibitions, improved education and volunteering opportunities, and landscaping that will emphasise the sites importance as a heritage airfield. It will improve the visitor experience, extend the museums reach to new audiences and create a lasting legacy to mark the Centenary. The museum has received substantial funding from Heritage Lottery Fund grants as well as public and corporate benefactors. It needs just under 7m to reach its target.

                                          The Trustees of the RAF Museum would like to take this opportunity to thank Northrop Grumman for their generous support. The museum is committed to sharing the story of the women and men of the Royal Air Force and we are looking forward to redeveloping the site to make it more engaging and accessible for future generations, said Karen Whitting, director of public programmes, RAF Museum.

                                          The RAF Museum was established in 1968 as a legacy of the RAFs 50th anniversary. It opened its London site at Hendon in 1972. The museum is a National Museum and a registered charity and welcomes approximately 700,000 visitors a year.

                                          Northrop Grumman is a leading global security company providing innovative systems, products and solutions in autonomous systems, cyber, C4ISR, strike, and logistics and modernization to customers worldwide. Please visit www.northropgrumman.com for more information.

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