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

  1. #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by RogerN View Post
    I agree with TonyC it would be great to join Hendon, Cosford and Stafford all on one site. It would also be good if that site was home to the BBMF and possibly the Reds as well, an active airfield if only on limited scale is a bigger draw than as others have said a collection of statics no matter what there significance. Just my opinion
    Thanks Roger and I agree about basing the BBMF and the Red Arrows at the same site, it think that would add to the attraction, certainly during the Airshow season!
    Tony

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  2. #92
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    No Problem Tony

    In an ideal world Scampton would be a good choice. But there are other things apart from aircraft there.

    And an airshow to squeeze in too

    Tim

  3. #93
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    Original pics taken outside the 'new' Hendon building circ 1970's ?

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  4. #94
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    Going to the Raf museum in the early 80s is one of my earliest childhood memories :-) Years later when I got a paper round I used to get the coach down to London as often as possible... What we need is a government that values our people and its heritage which stops giving billions to party donors while axing defence budgets and closing museums.

  5. #95
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    Quote Originally Posted by SADSACK View Post
    Years later when I got a paper round I used to get the coach down to London as often as possible...
    Out of sheer curiosity, what kept you going back? For me, museums are about discovery. Hendon doesn't seem so big that you cannot visit it all in one day. Did you simply enjoy seeing the same aircraft in the flesh?

  6. #96
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    Reading that 'plan' through, there is constant reference to 'digital technologies'. When I visited last September, there were broken displays with bits of paper stuck over them 'out of order.' The ATC display was screened off too. This is a problem with any video or sound display. The BofB Memorial at Capel en Ferne is impressive to see while still new but if it isn't maintained it will soon look drab.
    mmitch.

  7. #97
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    Any pics of W1048 stored in the carpark by any chance?
    Cees

  8. #98
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    Digital technologies.. As someone who works around the application of new software this is so often the nonsense we hear spouted by people who think just throwing in something vaguely 'computerish' will suddenly make an object 'interpretable', or an unexciting museum suddenly appealing to 'yoof'.

    So many misconceptions by highly-paid people, its hard to know where to start.

    The interactive thing? It'll always look pants - in fact, be a rubbish experience - next to the highly developed and tested games that the intended audience probably played in the back of the car on the way there.

    Software is an odd world. If it was a car, or even a toaster, that stopped working as frequently one would take it back. So if you think you can leave a bunch of interactive displays out there and running, based on the same rushed-to-market, flabby, overblown jack-of-all-trades OS's out there that we use at home (and they do), then you will get a lot of blue screens before you have had time to pay the first installment to Microsoft.

    But still they do it. Why? Why is a screen different from a noticeboard? It might have had some novelty in 1986, but the old people who think its going to impress kids now are painfully misguided.

    OK, if you spent a LOT of money developing something bespoke to attain the 'wow' factor (rather than focusing on being an aircraft museum) it might be worth it. But getting the student intern to download something he/she found in the App store that works on Windows 10 is going to end in the handwritten note taped to the screen.

    To be fair to the 2014 strategy document, there is an emphasis (I think) on using software for collections management - I think that's what they are getting at. That has to be a more appropriate application of 'digital technologies'.

    However, as for 'The Museum will invest to create a digital and an entrepreneurial culture within its staff and volunteers' I have no idea - unless they mean staff will be encouraged to illegally download and sell stuff?

    ..and speaking of misconceptions, I wish them luck making museum staff both voluntary and entrepreneurial.

    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.
    Last edited by Beermat; 3rd June 2016 at 18:37.

  9. #99
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    I think many museum management teams, not just Hendon, would benefit from a visit to the Beamish Open Air Museum in the North East of England. It tells the story of life in Northern England from the 1800's up to the 1940's, and shortly a 1950's town will be added. Staff are all in period dress, vintage trams take you around the town, pit village, mine, manor, farm and various other sites.

    Two steam railways operate on site from different perids, giving free rides, all included in the entrance cost. There's period food establishments serve the visitors, and often housewives ( staff ) cooking biscuits on a cast iron range in some of the cottages. I don't believe any of the period buildings have any digital technology. The entrance cost is a valid ticket to return for free entry within a year, basically a yearly pass, as they know people will return and spend in the cafe's or shop if they can get back in free. Thousands of people visit and re-visit every year, so they must be doing something right.

    http://www.beamish.org.uk/
    Stephen Carr

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  10. #100
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    Tbh, I enjoyed going and had pretty much the same routine... I often went every time something new was announced in Flypast, then a trip to Hannants, tea in Hendon central then home... costing me 2 weeks paper round.Happy days, no bills or responsibility!

    I loved exploring the Graham White Hangar and Control Tower before they were moved...neither were locked. Just wish I had taken pictures of the messages from servicemen in there, some were fascinating.

  11. #101
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    Quote 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...

  12. #102
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    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!

  13. #103
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    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.

  14. #104
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    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 at 10:56.

  15. #105
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    Quote 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.

  16. #106
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    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 at 11:23.

  17. #107
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    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.

  18. #108
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    Quote 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.

  19. #109
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    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.

  20. #110
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    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 at 12:24. Reason: typos

  21. #111
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    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 at 12:45.

  22. #112
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    Quote 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.

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  23. #113
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    Quote 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.

  24. #114
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    Quote 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 at 13:49.

  25. #115
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    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 !

  26. #116
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    Quote 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

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  27. #117
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    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 at 17:31.
    Why be your own worse critic, that's what the forum is for.

  28. #118
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    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.

  29. #119
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    Quote Originally Posted by stuart gowans View Post
    If the Battle of Britain were to be lost
    Can you define 'lost' in this case?

    Moggy
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    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.

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