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

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  • hampden98
    Rank 5 Registered User
    • Sep 2009
    • 2550

    #41
    Originally posted by scotavia View Post
    As for young people not being interested I think that is not 100 percent true,many play games with graphics showing air battles and take part in re enactment groups,join cadets and later the regular forces.
    My nephews are all interested in WW2 and the Bob. They get this from me (:-)), games like War Thunder and films such as Fury, Red Tails and, well the black and white ones I lend them!
    We have to accept that time moves forward and the BoB will not get the same attention as more modern exploits as it passes into distant history.
    But it should still be represented.

    Comment

    • CADman
      Rank 5 Registered User
      • Aug 2008
      • 663

      #42
      "This may sound like heresy but why not return the likes of the CR42, He111 (not a BofB aircraft after all) to their home land?" do not give the CEO any ideas !!!!

      With the budget for the redevelopement and the relocation of aircraft I am sure a simple exhibition space could have been erected at at Hendon, adjacent to the the BoB hangar, for the propose of a Hundredth Anniversary display.

      Comment

      • John Green
        Rank 5 Registered User
        • Mar 2011
        • 6643

        #43
        Has anyone bothered to write to the curator asking, what is the plan ?

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        • hawker1966
          Rank 5 Registered User
          • Nov 2010
          • 698

          #44
          Originally posted by CADman View Post
          "This may sound like heresy but why not return the likes of the CR42, He111 (not a BofB aircraft after all) to their home land?" do not give the CEO any ideas !!!!

          With the budget for the redevelopement and the relocation of aircraft I am sure a simple exhibition space could have been erected at at Hendon, adjacent to the the BoB hangar, for the propose of a Hundredth Anniversary display.
          This thought also crossed my mind.

          Comment

          • Evalu8ter
            Rank 5 Registered User
            • Nov 2011
            • 188

            #45
            It's been a couple of years since I visited Hendon. The BoB Hall has always, in my mind, both struggled to tell the story and display the artefacts effectively. I appreciate that it's my hobby horse but Hendon has always seemed to be a WW2 and FJ centric museum. The RAF does a superb job telling the tale of the BoB with the BBMF. A recent visit to the Tank Museum showed how far behind Hendon is; a superb, well lit atrium and compelling displays (esp the WW1 section). Yes, there were also rows of tanks, but as a Iraq/Afghan Veteran the way they had recreated a FOB was genuinely moving. At Bovington the curator told me that they couldn't agree on what tanks should be in the atrium - so they told the resident historian to "pick 30 seminal tanks and fill it up" - a great move with some eclectic choices. This could be an opportunity for the RAF to get some important aircraft to Hendon; C-47, real CH-47, SAR Sea King, Shackleton/Nimrod and C-130 - all of which would help tell the RAF's story in different ways. It would also enable some interesting comparisons; I love the thought of the Ju88 and Me110 in the Bomber Command Hall - a new display telling the history of Electronic Warfare could be built around it.

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            • hawker1966
              Rank 5 Registered User
              • Nov 2010
              • 698

              #46
              Originally posted by John Green View Post
              Has anyone bothered to write to the curator asking, what is the plan ?
              I guess it would of been nice for the curator to of published the future plans or has he? probably not..as up until recently as far as we were all concerned the aircraft were being stripped for inspection.. thats what i had the opinion of anyway.
              Looking at the strategic plans there dosnt appear to be anything in Great detail reference the Battle of Britain Hall..
              Last edited by hawker1966; 1st June 2016, 17:48.

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              • SimonDav
                Rank 5 Registered User
                • May 2007
                • 152

                #47
                Originally posted by Evalu8ter View Post
                It would also enable some interesting comparisons; I love the thought of the Ju88 and Me110 in the Bomber Command Hall - a new display telling the history of Electronic Warfare could be built around it.
                Yup and they could convert and repaint the B-17 to represent a 100 group example.

                Comment

                • Ant.H
                  Rank 5 Registered User
                  • Jan 2000
                  • 3057

                  #48
                  Perhaps a subject for a seperate thread, but I was surprised when my BBMF Supporters Club pack arrived a week or two ago and it had "Royal Air Force Memorial Flight" on the front. Is the BofB now considered politically incorrect by MoD? Is there a BBMF re-branding soon to take place?

                  With regards to the main subject, we will see how things play out, but it would be strange if the museum of the RAF didn't place a fairly strong emphasis on the BofB. Being history's only pure air battle, it stands as an example of the reasons to have an independent air force. I'm confused as to why some have said that coverage of the BofB is more the territory of the IWM.
                  "Talking about airplanes is a very pleasant mental disease." Sergei Sikorsky

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                  • CADman
                    Rank 5 Registered User
                    • Aug 2008
                    • 663

                    #49
                    Originally posted by John Green View Post
                    Has anyone bothered to write to the curator asking, what is the plan ?
                    It was published earlier this year, I will see if I can find it. Before that there was also some consultation like questionnaire asking for ideas.

                    There have bee several interviews in Flypast / Aeroplane covering the changes. Sadly what is written, whilst technically correct, often appears to be worst in real life.

                    Comment

                    • SADSACK
                      Rank 5 Registered User
                      • Jan 2000
                      • 3482

                      #50
                      Can you imagine an exhibition about Trafalgar or Waterloo being treated like this? I would prefer to see the Battle of France, Belgium, Poland represented. A number of significant types would represent everyone involved
                      pb::

                      Comment

                      • GOKONE
                        Rank 5 Registered User
                        • Feb 2011
                        • 273

                        #51
                        Couldn't agree more Tony, I've spent many visits there and its a totally unique display to see examples of types that were in the battle in one major hall - HOW could that not be a major learning experience that makes (dare I say it) sense for both adults and kids to learn from? Many museums would give a lot to have such a major one-off display and some of the other crits in the past like swapping original items off for repro ones haven't helped. This BoB Hall though is a major loss to people and I'm not interested in seeing a revise display in a helter/skelter-ice-cream cone that just indulges an architect for a nice fat fee.

                        Its similar to the disgraceful clear-out of major civil and navy ship models from the National Maritime Museum that we could see for free when were kids, we now have to go to Chatham and in some cases pay to see them - a total loss to local people in Greenwich and the Isle of Dogs with so much local history of shipbuilding and of seeing these unique items in this national museum that has gone over too much to families and pirate play rooms- "We don't do that anymore" I was told after complaining and asking what had happened to so many displays lost to the area today.

                        Comment

                        • GOKONE
                          Rank 5 Registered User
                          • Feb 2011
                          • 273

                          #52
                          Why would you keep it? Besides adding to it with other related displays, posters and memorabilia I would say clearly because it was THE turning point in the early part of the war - but chiefly, because as Churchill said before it began, "Upon this battle depends the survival of Christian civilization…" -

                          You can't get a more crucial reason for a display that that. I would say that it distinguishes it as something that should be kept together as it is the reason why we are all here today uploading. The development of other aspects of RAF history should wait or be planned elsewhere - when talking of immediacy and the need to engage with people of today that is all very well, but perhaps its up to more designers to make the BoB displays more revamped and fresh in their appeal. Its importance cannot be overstated.

                          Comment

                          • BIGVERN1966
                            steely eyed missile man
                            • Jan 2006
                            • 1220

                            #53
                            Royal Air Force Memorial Flight
                            That is its official name and has been so since the Flight's formation (Please tell me where it says Battle of Britain on the unit badge (it doesn't BTW)).
                            TWIN RAMJET POWERED MONOPLANE FIXER 1985 - 1989

                            Comment

                            • Rocketeer
                              trying harder
                              • Jan 2005
                              • 5244

                              #54
                              I'm at a bit of a loss to see that some think we don't need the BoB commemorated. Each to their own I guess. I would like to see training command and coastal command better represented. I also would like to see more made of RW. But there's room to do that, especially if cosford and Hendon share the task.
                              Tony Dyer
                              https://www.facebook.com/TheAirDefen...homepage_panel

                              Comment

                              • avion ancien
                                Long ago and far away ...
                                • Aug 2007
                                • 5308

                                #55
                                Originally posted by Fournier Boy View Post
                                Their aim is to tell this story to little Jimmy who has a maximum attention span of 3 hours
                                Crikey, little Jimmy must be exceptional amongst his peers. In my experience, three minutes, rather than three hours, is closer to the norm!

                                Comment

                                • Guns80
                                  Rank 5 Registered User
                                  • Nov 2013
                                  • 37

                                  #56
                                  I've only been lucky enough to get to the RAFM once but my opinion was that after the Graham-White hanger mainly due to the aircraft, the Battle of Britain hall was the highlight. Yes it needed an update but it was a superb view into a key moment of British history. Not wanting to be too topical but I do wonder if the very name makes it politically incorrect

                                  Comment

                                  • TempestV
                                    Rank 5 Registered User
                                    • Dec 2003
                                    • 1506

                                    #57
                                    Originally posted by Rocketeer View Post
                                    I visited the dismantled aircraft in the BoB Hall. All very interesting, but, I am dumbstruck by the fact this wonderful hall is being closed and its items dispersed.

                                    The signage gives a false impression that they are just checking the condition of the aircraft. There is no mention that the hall will close, the bombers will go in the bomber hall and the fighters in next to the cafe in the main hall. It does not mention that the Me110 and Ju88 are off to cosford with the defiant, nor that the jungmann will be disposed of. It doesn't say what will happen to the art, the relics, the replica Uxbridge ops room, searchlight mannequins, art, medals and Churchill. All aircraft are effected except the Sunderland. Information is out there in the web, but not that readily available.

                                    The hall gives context to the Battle of Britain, it is a national curriculum subject and also covered Evacuees as well as events leading to the war. The film was a big favourite of my non aviation enthusiastic family. One could readily see which were the main aircraft of both sides and the film made it easy to understand for all ages. I don't care that the ju88, 87 and 110 and 111 were later models, they were examples. Besides joe public did not care. How can the BoB be told with the aircraft dispersed?

                                    I asked a few visitors what the thought of the hall going. All were surprised. I left a comments slip but it sounds like no one will read it or care.

                                    I feel aggrieved that whilst the RAF history is more than the Battle, it was the Finest Hour not only for the RAF but also this country. It was a huge turning point in those very very dark days.

                                    Whilst a museum needs to be fresh and appealing to the public (not just enthusiasts), forgetting the Battle is not the way to do it. I would have expected the Battle to be a big part of the RAF 100th anniversary, not hidden away. It would be like the RN forgetting Trafalgar, Tarranto, Jutland etc or the Army forgetting Waterloo etc.

                                    When I was a student in the 80s, I spent many days walking around that Hall and reflecting. In the years to today, I would spend at least two days a year there. it is a tragedy that this will no longer be possible

                                    Sorry, but the RAF Museum have upset me with this. I cannot believe the wider RAF would be happy.

                                    If I am wide of the mark or wrong please correct me. I will post some pictures of what we will be losing.

                                    Please keep this discussion on track and not descend to discussion on lighting!
                                    Hi Tony,

                                    That's dissapointing to hear that the BoB Hall is to be closed. I had read that some of the airframes were to be conserved and some relocated.

                                    Like you, the BoB Hall is a long term highlight of Hendon for me, and has certainly been a memorable occasion for my young family. Yes I agree, after a number of years, every display should be re-freshed but if this particular one represents the RAF's finest hour, as well as a significant point in our Nations history then it should be kept in some form or another. One could argue that if the Battle had not been "won", an invasion would have been more likely to follow, and the war could have had a very different outcome.

                                    We can all have our opinions on what the museum could do next, and I'm sure there is probably not a single correct answer. I would personally like more themed displays, like grouping types per era or theatre of use, with supporting ground equipment. How better way than to show the HISTORY of the RAF?

                                    What I hope the museum does, is not make everything too digital and modern. These aircraft belong to a different time, and although information screens may attract little jonny, it does so at the expense of not ever bothering to look at the airframe usually!
                                    Last edited by TempestV; 2nd June 2016, 07:11.

                                    Comment

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

                                      #58
                                      !Did everyone rush to criticise the IWM at Duxford after the rebuild of the Super Super hangar as much?"

                                      Yes, in fact it's still worth pointing out that they spent 29m on a building that was perfectly ok, and at the very least didn't blow away at the first sign of winter.

                                      There is much in common between the two museums, (and not ironically aeroplanes) they have both lost their way over the years, and have had a turn over of "management" and have become more corporate (as this would appear to be the only thing management know how to do) both have or are going to dispose of Key types of A/C that could help tell a story.

                                      The main difference, is that DX isn't free, and doesn't pander to a local population; to slightly mis quote someone who runs an event that I take part in, "when the admission fee is so low, you have no control over type of people that come through the door", so ( in the case of RAFM Hendon)you are basing your business model on artificially supported ground, i.e the govt subsidy to museums, that may change at any time; I know from discussions with friends there, that the car parking charge was the only way to make ends meet, and still receive the subsidy.

                                      I believe it is very nave to think that the obviously transient population of London is you key target audience/market.
                                      Last edited by stuart gowans; 2nd June 2016, 07:57.
                                      Why be your own worse critic, that's what the forum is for.

                                      Comment

                                      • scotavia
                                        scotavia
                                        • Nov 2005
                                        • 2818

                                        #59
                                        Interesting that many share a concern about the overuse of electronic displays and gimmicks. I share the concern about this.There is a trend in how people behave at places and events.They are seduced by the novelty of smartphones and tablets and as a result can miss the reality around them. If any from the museum/location read these forums i hope they can keep in mind that the equipment and people (who gave time and lives) are what need highlighting.In practical terms highlighting actually can be taken as using a non destructive form of lighting.

                                        Comment

                                        • TempestV
                                          Rank 5 Registered User
                                          • Dec 2003
                                          • 1506

                                          #60
                                          THE thing that was most moving for a lot of people I have spoken to about the BoB Hall experience, was the simplicity of its execution. Atmospheric lighting, narrative story and sound effects. Your imagination did the rest. The aircraft were the focal point, and there wasn't a CGI digital display screen in sight! I'm all for the modern world, but it has to be sympathetically used.

                                          Comment

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