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

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  • Kuno
    Rank 5 Registered User
    • Dec 2014
    • 58

    Originally posted by Beermat View Post
    So, when it comes to the public face of the museum, don't spend the money on 'Digital Technologies' - you're not impressing anyone. Spend it on lighting the objects, keeping them clean, keeping them conserved, paying decent writers - try Copywriters - to write boards that are concise, snappy, but convey a lot of interesting information (not that the Mark V weighed 123lbs more than the Mark II, while you are looking at a Mark XIV), and please not a picture of the exact (to the uninitiated) object you are looking at. And put the museum next to some working examples, or at least in context - not on a dual carriageway in a suburb.
    Thank you for that, Beermat.

    I have visited the Battle of Briatain Hall twice - and I did not like it for the same reasons as stated already above by others: Lighting and not enough space to walk around the aircraft. However; I am still happy if sich aircraft a preserved and accessible for visitors - I do not really mind if it is in a dedicated BoB hall or if I could see them somewhere else... Digital displays can be fine but normally they are not. If it is just to attract children, then there are probably better options. One has been taken in the Swiss Museum of Transport in Lucerne, Switzerland. They built up a huge playgroud for children between the museum's buildings. A pond with boats, a construction site etc.. Children can play whilst adults visit the museum. The bad thing on that particular example: A rare Scottish Aviation Twin Pioneer has been disposed off to gain space...

    Comment

    • bananasplits
      Rank 5 Registered User
      • Nov 2008
      • 132

      I think that it is sacrilege that the Battle of Britain Hall is to be split up, regardless of the short duration of the battle, it was a pivotal point in British history and should always be commemorated. I think that the hall could do with a revamp, possibly opening up the end with a whole glass wall as per the Sunderland end. I agree that the information boards could have much more information on them and while i personally hate interactive displays, perhaps they could contain more relevant information.
      As for making everything more appealing to Joe public, surely if you are visiting an aviation museum you are going to see the airframes and associated displays, if you want to mess around on a computer screen, you can do that at home.
      The mezzanine floor is an attraction that is too often closed which annoys me because i like this part of the display very much, not only does it allow you to see the items on display and the sector control room, but it also allows you to see the aircraft from on high. I used to love the galleries in the main hall but sadly these have all now gone.
      I think if they introduced some flying clothing displays along with the aircraft, this would be very interesting and appealing, to be able to see the type of equipment worn by the aircrew of that type particular aircraft as has been done with the Defiant air gunner. I must confess a certain bias regarding this as i am a flying clothing collector.
      My friends and i have noticed what appears to us, a distinct dumbing down in aviation museums to appeal i imagine to people with only a passing interest in the subject. I appreciate that it must be a fine balancing act to try to appeal to as wide an audience as possible but personally i don`t want to see a lot of unrelated items shown in an attempt to appeal to a younger market. There is a display case at Duxford that contains among other items, a Typhoon control column at one end and a Snakes on a Plane DVD at the other, go figure !
      One must also consider when updating/upgrading a museum that change is not always for the better, one only has to look at the massive amount of money spent on the IWM at Lambeth which was in my and my friends opinions, completely ruined.
      On a slightly different note, the open cockpit evening they had in the Battle of Britain hall at Hendon was marvellous, it was great to be able to get really close to the aircraft and take pictures which at any other time would be impossible, i was only surprised by the lack of numbers there, two hundred by our estimation which considering the event was a one off which is never to be repeated seemed a very low turn out.
      I don`t care to belong to any club that accepts people like me as members!

      Comment

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

        A major part of the problem with these activities is 'inclusivity'. We saw that with a certain amount of 'tip toeing' around recent commemorations such as Trafalgar and Waterloo. PC politicians and PC quango operators are desperate to ensure inclusivity.

        So far as the B of B is concerned even tho' around 10% of those taking part were from other countries the Battle is seen as a predominently white British affair and, so the PC brigade believe, should quietly lie fallow. People from other cultures visiting the Museum, will not necessarily identify with the exhibits or the story behind them.

        Altho' it seems to have taken a long time for the message to get thru', we now understand - perhaps with the necessary passage of time - that when the RAF won the Battle, they also won WW2. The links are unmistakeable.

        The significance of the Battle exceeds its relevance to these islands by a very long way. The Battle should be remembered and commemorated in a single outstanding, permanent memorial of not only national, but also international significance. It should be a work of a solitary nature uncluttered by attachment to any distracting side show.

        If they can't accommodate it at Hendon then a site at a former Battle airfield should be considered as a permanent memorial. Personally, I cannot think of any battle in the history of the world - two have come close - that was as momentous as the Battle of Britain.

        Comment

        • Beermat
          1 Registered Rank Loser
          • Oct 2009
          • 3642

          Reading back posts and looking at things 'in the round', it looks to me like those in charge of Hendon's future are not as clueless as it would first appear. Instead they are focussed with laser-like clarity in a digital and entrepreneurial way on their target audience of semi-retarded photophobic crap-technology fetishists with no interest in history or aeroplanes.

          It is as though the authorities are slightly apologetic about it being an historic aircraft museum, and feel the pill needs to be sweetened somehow - and are casting around for ways of doing it. 'Battle of Britain'? Bit old-aeroplaney, that. Best get rid of it.. We could replace it with a Samuel L Jackson theme park, cos he was in a film about planes or sumfink. As long as its nice and digital and entrepreneurial.
          Last edited by Beermat; 4th June 2016, 09:56.
          www.whirlwindfighterproject.org
          It's all good. Probably.

          Comment

          • DaveM2
            Rank 5 Registered User
            • Jan 2000
            • 761

            Originally posted by John Green View Post

            If they can't accommodate it at Hendon then a site at a former Battle airfield should be considered as a permanent memorial. Personally, I cannot think of any battle in the history of the world - two have come close - that was as momentous as the Battle of Britain.
            Really? I assume you are talking air battle. The B of B is a side show when compared with Stalingrad, if any battle won WW2, it was that one.

            Comment

            • Beermat
              1 Registered Rank Loser
              • Oct 2009
              • 3642

              The problem is not so much 'inclusivity' as 'relevance'. "The past is a foreign country. They do things differently there" (L.P. Hartley) ..and that is the whole point.

              If it was an exhibition about another culture today, it would be strange to continually try to make artefacts 'relevant' to our own culture. But that is what museums in the UK (not just the RAFM) are doing with our past. Which is missing the point. Beamish was a great example of getting it right - presenting, not 'interpreting'.

              In fact it is more inclusive to NOT try to interpret to (or patronise) a specific culture
              Last edited by Beermat; 4th June 2016, 10:23.
              www.whirlwindfighterproject.org
              It's all good. Probably.

              Comment

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

                I'm referring to the kind of battle upon which everything necessary for the future conduct of the war depends in entirety.

                I'm not discussing 'scale'. Stalingrad was the sideshow. The Battle had to be won or, all was lost. The Russians could not win the war on their own.

                Comment

                • trumper
                  Rank 5 Registered User
                  • Aug 2003
                  • 6722

                  Originally posted by bananasplits View Post
                  On a slightly different note, the open cockpit evening they had in the Battle of Britain hall at Hendon was marvellous, it was great to be able to get really close to the aircraft and take pictures which at any other time would be impossible, i was only surprised by the lack of numbers there, two hundred by our estimation which considering the event was a one off which is never to be repeated seemed a very low turn out.
                  Was it advertised? this is the first i knew about it.
                  Maybe having theme days /evenings is a way forward.
                  Have a look at the National Trust ,they have people dressed up in period costumes putting on plays relevant to the period and place ,they have people in every room with a deep knowledge.I suppose they charge for entrance so they may be able to get opportunities to do things whereas if something is free it is seen and treated as such .
                  Maybe time to put a nominal charge on and give people something better in return.

                  Comment

                  • SADSACK
                    Rank 5 Registered User
                    • Jan 2000
                    • 3482

                    If the powers that be knew what they were talking about, it wouldn't take long to reveal the Battle of Britain was racially diverse. You only need to see the variety of nations involved. Posh boys would have been a minority. Al Deere, Ginger Lacey, Bob Stanford Tuck and many others all came from humble backgrounds.
                    pb::

                    Comment

                    • scotavia
                      scotavia
                      • Nov 2005
                      • 2813

                      There were many pivotal moments on the road to allied victory in WW 2 which required selfless acts and sacrifice, the Battle of Britain period of air combat is one. Recognition of the many varieties of racial origin and gender diversity is to be welcomed not scoffed at. In peacetime which was won by many it is important to allow for diversity in our modern society. To pick on groups and blame them for current difficult times in Europe and near continents is to risk re igniting the very embers which fascist governments fanned into war as the peace movements of the 1930s were extinguished.
                      Last edited by scotavia; 4th June 2016, 11:24. Reason: typos

                      Comment

                      • Beermat
                        1 Registered Rank Loser
                        • Oct 2009
                        • 3642

                        Yes Sadsack, and that's another example of the dangers of 'interpretation'. In the 50's audiences wanted their war heroes to sound like (or even be) David Niven - and not show any sign of the strain of war. That was history 'translated' to suit the culture of the times. Now it puts generation after generation off having any interest in what seems, without context, a posh boy's jape.
                        Last edited by Beermat; 4th June 2016, 11:45.
                        www.whirlwindfighterproject.org
                        It's all good. Probably.

                        Comment

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

                          Originally posted by trumper View Post
                          Was it advertised? this is the first i knew about it.
                          On their web site and on Facebook.

                          All these people who profess an interest in RAFM Hendon but don't know what's going on there. Dear, dear.

                          Brian
                          The Future Of Photography Is Mirrorless

                          DUXFORDfotoGALLERY
                          DfG on Facebook

                          Comment

                          • trumper
                            Rank 5 Registered User
                            • Aug 2003
                            • 6722

                            Originally posted by Pen Pusher View Post
                            On their web site and on Facebook.

                            All these people who profess an interest in RAFM Hendon but don't know what's going on there. Dear, dear.

                            Brian
                            So it proves that UNLESS you deliberately go out looking for stuff relating to Hendon it is a big secret--not really putting the message out is it?.What a patronising reply BTW. Don't forget not everyone uses facebook,not everyone has permanent computer access.

                            Comment

                            • DaveM2
                              Rank 5 Registered User
                              • Jan 2000
                              • 761

                              Originally posted by John Green View Post
                              I'm referring to the kind of battle upon which everything necessary for the future conduct of the war depends in entirety.

                              I'm not discussing 'scale'. Stalingrad was the sideshow. The Battle had to be won or, all was lost. The Russians could not win the war on their own.
                              All was lost for Britain, certainly not for Russia, given the support it had from US Lend Lease and the huge capacity of both countries to produce masses of weapons without much interference. Germany was comparatively luke warm about crushing Britain-it could have destroyed the British Army at Dunkirk, but passed on the opportunity to do so. It had no such qualms when it came to Russia, it was a no quarter given clash of the Titans. If that same 'desire to annihilate ' was bought to bear on Britain, the outcome would have been different. The Western Front as a whole was secondary from late 1941, this no matter if the B of B was won or lost. Hitler's eyes had always been on the East. Of course Germany would have preferred that its 'rear' was secured before kicking off the 'main event' but it was more of a 'nuisance' until D-Day at least. Conversely D-Day could not have happened in France if the BoB had been lost, however it no doubt would have eventually occurred in the MTO.
                              The Eastern Front was where the European War was won for the Allies, and the turning point was Stalingrad. 80 percent of the total German Army casualties occurred on the East Front, however the Soviet contribution is usually overlooked as it doesn't sit well in the 'West'
                              Anyway, I suppose this a bit too much of a thread drift and perhaps should have its own thread...
                              Last edited by DaveM2; 4th June 2016, 12:49.

                              Comment

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

                                Without the B of B victory of the RAF, and the future existence of GB assured, we would not have been able to supply the Soviet war machine with thousands of tanks, aircraft, artillery and other necessary munitions before and after the Americans entered the war.

                                "Britain's War Machine, David Edgerton. Penguin.

                                It contains all the statistical information relating to the military effort of all the combatants.

                                It is impossible to overstate the importance of the Battle. That is why it should be singled out for special feature. Imagine if it had been an American victory !

                                Comment

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

                                  Originally posted by trumper View Post
                                  So it proves that UNLESS you deliberately go out looking for stuff relating to Hendon it is a big secret--not really putting the message out is it?.
                                  Of course you could always sign up to the eNewsletter and then you don't have to 'deliberately go out looking for stuff relating to Hendon' as they will let you know about stuff going out at Hendon. And Cosford if you want.

                                  http://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/contact-us/newsletters.aspx

                                  Brian
                                  The Future Of Photography Is Mirrorless

                                  DUXFORDfotoGALLERY
                                  DfG on Facebook

                                  Comment

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

                                    If the Battle of Britain were to be lost, that surely would have sealed Malta's fate, and the North African campaign would never have taken place, thus Germany/ Italy would have owned the Mediterranean (from both sides), I think it unlikely that the Americans (many of Italian descent) would have invaded Italy on their own under those terms; Roosevelt hated de gualle, according to Churchill's memoirs it was only Churchill that kept him from having de gaulle killed!

                                    The Americans would have busied themselves with annihilating Japan, and left Europe to it's own devices.
                                    Last edited by stuart gowans; 4th June 2016, 16:31.
                                    Why be your own worse critic, that's what the forum is for.

                                    Comment

                                    • trumper
                                      Rank 5 Registered User
                                      • Aug 2003
                                      • 6722

                                      The Battle of Britain was about the first time people had stood up to and stopped Hitler ,at least made him change plans.Up to that point everything had been defensive and retreating.
                                      It was also a huge morale booster and possibly showed the USA which way they should go when the time came.

                                      Comment

                                      • Moggy C
                                        Moderator
                                        • Jan 2000
                                        • 20534

                                        Originally posted by stuart gowans View Post
                                        If the Battle of Britain were to be lost
                                        Can you define 'lost' in this case?

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

                                        Comment

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

                                          The Germans winning?

                                          The Battle of Britain was a defensive strategy; if you own the same bit of land at the battle's end, you have achieved your objective.
                                          From an offensive point of view, if you are in the same place as where you started before the battle, you have failed.
                                          Why be your own worse critic, that's what the forum is for.

                                          Comment

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