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

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  • Fournier Boy
    Rank 5 Registered User
    • Mar 2007
    • 1044

    And in a way the statue of Dowding outside St Clements

    FB

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    • Rocketeer
      trying harder
      • Jan 2005
      • 5244

      Come on guys, those are good and worthy of merit. But they are not a dedicated museum with aircraft. An update with better show, although my family loved it, hands on exhibits and knowledgeable guides would have been better and serve the memory of the Few. Museum wise we have the excellent KBoBM. But yo would have thought the RAF museum would have kept a permanent hall
      Tony Dyer
      https://www.facebook.com/TheAirDefen...homepage_panel

      Comment

      • TEXANTOMCAT
        Rank 5 Registered User
        • Mar 2004
        • 4670

        I forgot - the crashed Hurricane cockpit section, which I remember from my first visit as a kid is also at Stafford. That seems a shame it was a very evocative diorama I thought and didnt take up much space... the Jungmann and Prentice are also there - Any ideas where the Stuka ME110, JU88 and HE111 will end up - surely not enough space in the main halls?
        Our Beech 18 & T-6@www.beechrestorations.com
        Visit Sywell Aviation Museum @
        www.sywellaerodrome.co.uk/museum.php
        Sywell Airshow 17.8.2014

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        • SADSACK
          Rank 5 Registered User
          • Jan 2000
          • 3482

          The JU88 went to Cosford ages ago. With this barmy policy in national collections, of getting rid of axis a/c, I hope the HEIII stays in the UK.
          pb::

          Comment

          • PeterVerney
            Rank 5 Registered User
            • May 2009
            • 1021

            You mustn't upset the Germans, anyway it happened before Pearl harbour so is irrelevant.
            Man is not lost. Only temporarily uncertain of his position.

            Comment

            • bananasplits
              Rank 5 Registered User
              • Nov 2008
              • 132

              Don't see too many airframes at those places though do you ?
              I don`t care to belong to any club that accepts people like me as members!

              Comment

              • Fournier Boy
                Rank 5 Registered User
                • Mar 2007
                • 1044

                That wasn't your comment, you said no national memorial, which is incorrect, there are two national memorials.

                The RAFM is not a national memorial, it is supposed to be a museum of the RAF, something it hasn't really been for a long time.

                Middle Wallop is the museum of army flying, and does a really good job of telling the story of army flying right up to modern day. The FAAM is also a museum of naval aviation, and also tells the story of flying in the navy.

                The RAFM, due to previous collecting policy, has been for a long time a collection of aeroplanes, some used by the RAF, some used against the RAF. In my opinion the types at Hendon are more indicative of the types that should be seen at any IWM location.

                Much as the contents of the BoB hall were interesting examples of sirframes, few were from the BoB period and were more indicative types of those that fought in the battle. That's also exactly what it was though, a battle, one of many the RAF have been involved of, and I still don't feel that 1/6th of the site should focus on a few months of history out of a legacy of 100 years.

                I personally like the changes and development of the site to tell the story of WW1 aviation, and I would like to think the changes will allow all aspects of the RAFs history to be told in a similar matter over time.

                At the end of the day, the RAF put a considerable amount of funding into the RAFM. If they want something to tell the story of the service from the beginning, to date and into the future, then that's what they will get. As the museum was, one could easily believe the purpose of the RAF stopped with GW1.

                FB

                Comment

                • Evalu8ter
                  Rank 5 Registered User
                  • Nov 2011
                  • 188

                  "As the museum was, one could easily believe the purpose of the RAF stopped with GW1." Indeed, and the postwar roles of Maritime Patrol (Neptune/Shack/Nimrod), Air Transport (Hastings, Beverley - let's not got there..., C130K etc) and Air to Air refuelling (VC-10K) are not covered at all at Hendon. Yes, they are represented at Cosford, but Hendon tends to be a WW1,WW2 and post war FJ biased collection and its the Museum most defined as the National collection for the Service - yet several thousand ex-servicemen go there and see "their part" largely ignored. The Helicopter hall is an afterthought and poorly curated; the role of SAR helicopters (soon to at least be represented by a Sea King) could be told with a Whirlwind/Wessex/Sea King, the yeoman service of the Puma is ignored (not every airframe went through the Mk2 upgrade, were the RAFM offered a Mk1?) and the Wessex is a Queens Flight example when, arguably, the role of 72 in NI should be told and the CH-47 display is hopelessly incorrect due to sponsorship rather than scholarship. The lack of (current) recognition for the several campaigns we've fought since 1991 needs addressing - 23 DFCs for the Chinook force in Afghanistan alone - and they are all part of the RAF's story. Having visited both Bovingdon and Yeovilton recently, the RAFM is patently falling behind in the imagination and relevance of its displays. If the RAFM is going to become a number of buildings full of populist aircraft like Spitfires and "sexy" Fast Jets (plus interactive displays, adequate toilets, a well stocked shop and a trendy cafe) then please let us know and give Cosford the role of preservation and scholarship that are, IMHO, key roles of a curated museum collection.

                  Comment

                  • TonyT
                    Rank 5 Registered User
                    • Oct 2006
                    • 9023

                    Totally agree, most types of my service are poorly catered for, though Cosford has a 72 Sqn Wessex and a VC10 now that is already suffering outdoors, But Puma, Jaguar and Chinook are not well catered for at the moment.

                    Comment

                    • Trolly Aux
                      Rank 5 Registered User
                      • May 2006
                      • 3812

                      The RAFs finest hour in my opinion should be a display all of its own, those few months were critical in 1940 for all in the UK and the RAF
                      SMOKE SMOKE GO!
                      TA out

                      Comment

                      • Bruce
                        Independent analyst
                        • Jan 2000
                        • 10224

                        Just to be clear - the Royal Air Force Museum operates across two sites - at Hendon and at Cosford. It is one entity, with airframes often rotating between the two, and indeed rotating off display as well. Suggesting that one site is a 'better' museum than the other misses the point rather. In an ideal world, the museum would take on an entire airfield, with appropriate history back to 1918 and before, and curate both the airfield and the collection accordingly.

                        I also agree with FB's comment about the museum telling the story of the RAF, not its opponents. The IWM would be a much better place to do that - and it does so at Duxford, though not in quite the same way as had been the case at Hendon.

                        Comment

                        • jack windsor
                          Rank 5 Registered User
                          • Dec 2008
                          • 921

                          ww2 was arguably the RAF's time, and the B of B the high point of that time, so it deserves to be high lighted and if we have the aircraft involved all the better... pre/post that time by all means show what they had to high light how RAF aircraft developed, but the ww2 period deserves its own gallery.
                          Then when johnny visits on a school trip he can ask and be shown what his g/dad flew in, and then see what the baddies flew against him in, he will probably like the "shiny" fighters shown elsewhere cause they are from the recent past, but the ww2 aircraft have bumps and guns and propellers, and he associates them with his family...
                          "Museum- a building, place or institution devoted to the acquisition, conservation, study, exhibition, and educational interpretation of objects having scientific, historic, or artistic value."

                          Or are we going down the road of apologising or removing things from our history because in todays world its deemed uncorrect...

                          just my view, regards,
                          jack...


                          this post may contain grammatical errors...

                          Comment

                          • WebPilot
                            Rank 5 Registered User
                            • Jan 2000
                            • 1902

                            I entirely agree with Bruce and FB and I've said this for years. While the RAFM should not ignore its opponents and allies, it should focus its aim on the RAF. For example, the RAFM B17 should be in RAF colours, ideally 100 Group. There are two other UK B17s that properly memorialise the USAAF, even if they are both in the same place.
                            Last edited by WebPilot; 1st September 2017, 13:27.

                            Comment

                            • Rocketeer
                              trying harder
                              • Jan 2005
                              • 5244

                              Some very good points in the thread. I still will believe that the BoB hall should have stayed and be revamped. I do believe that some commands are woefully underrepresented. I also echo sentiments about wider RAF heritage. Certainly the Chinook display is not what it could be. I pray Bravo November gets in there one day as she cuts across so much British aviation heritage and history....Falklands to NI, GW1, GW2 to the present day as well as being a significant Flight Test airframe too. I also think the B17 in RAF colours as well as the Cat would be good. But please keep a dedicated tribute to the Few at both sites.
                              Tony Dyer
                              https://www.facebook.com/TheAirDefen...homepage_panel

                              Comment

                              • farnboroughrob
                                Rank 5 Registered User
                                • Dec 2008
                                • 617

                                There seems to be a lack of joined up thinking at Cosford and Hendon. Cosford concentrates on the Cold war, plus prototypes and test aircraft . Hendon has the WW1 exhibition so it makes sense to have a large WW2 exhibition and concentrate on these at hendon. By all means show the falklands, Gulf wars, Korea, Afghanistan etc but make the core of the collection the machines, and crews from both world wars, with over 75% of that content being RAF. Always thought it a travesty that there is not one Transport Command aircraft at hendon!
                                Last edited by farnboroughrob; 2nd September 2017, 17:01.

                                Comment

                                • hawker1966
                                  Rank 5 Registered User
                                  • Nov 2010
                                  • 698

                                  I personally feel that the Battle of Britain period should be represented in some way, yes i do get it that the RAF wasn't solely the Battle of Britain but surely any RAF Museum should represent it on a scale that it so rightly deserves.

                                  In regard to the former Battle of Britain hall, i have to say i liked the feel of the whole place even though as some have said it looked a little tired, it just gave you that atmosphere even though some aircraft were not from the period but i guess it would be a little hard to find the likes of a complete Battle of Britain Ju87, so i guess the next best thing would be a later model Stuka and the likes,even though not correct it certainly did it for me.

                                  I know in this current world that things move on but lets not forget an extremely important part of our history.

                                  Represent it and respect it in the way it deserves.

                                  Never forget..
                                  Last edited by hawker1966; 1st September 2017, 17:57.

                                  Comment

                                  • mmitch
                                    Member
                                    • Mar 2003
                                    • 1750

                                    I always thought the Hurricane wreck memorial centre piece was a moving place to stop for a moment. I can remember (some years ago)a group of unruly school children being removed from there by security for being disrespectful. Instead the museum management do it for them these days.
                                    mmitch.

                                    Comment

                                    • hawker1966
                                      Rank 5 Registered User
                                      • Nov 2010
                                      • 698

                                      A very good point, that word comes to mind to me also.

                                      Comment

                                      • Moggy C
                                        Moderator
                                        • Jan 2000
                                        • 20534

                                        Originally posted by farnboroughrob
                                        Always though it a travesty that there is not one Transport Command aircraft at Hendon!
                                        Not 'always' of course.

                                        Moggy
                                        "What you must remember" Flip said "is that nine-tenths of Cattermole's charm lies beneath the surface." Many agreed.

                                        Comment

                                        • WP840
                                          Whisky Papa
                                          • Feb 2006
                                          • 1962

                                          There seems to be plenty of land surrounding the IWM at Duxford to either build a much larger building to house a complete history of the complete Royal Air Force or possibly a slightly smaller building to accommodate what is currently at Hendon and have the museum split into two buildings.
                                          If you're not living on the edge then you're taking up too much space!

                                          Comment

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