Search

RAF 100: Royal Air Force’s museum throws open doors to new exhibits following £26m makeover

PUBLISHED: 11:00 11 July 2018 | UPDATED: 10:02 13 July 2018

RAF Museum boss Maggie Appleton. Pic: RAF MUSEUM

RAF Museum boss Maggie Appleton. Pic: RAF MUSEUM

IAIN DUNCAN

The capital’s RAF Museum has welcomed visitors to new galleries for the first time following a £26million makeover.

The RAF Museum in Hendon. Pic: Benedict JohnsonThe RAF Museum in Hendon. Pic: Benedict Johnson

The June 30 reopening coincided with the RAF’s centenary year and came after the museum’s trustees decided the attraction – based at the former RAF Hendon airfiled in Grahame Park Way, Colindale – needed to focus more on the service’s story.

Museum boss Maggie Appleton said: “We’re delighted to be relaunching. Our new exhibitions not only explore the RAF’s extraordinary history and people, but give visitors the opportunity to look towards its cutting-edge future.

“The transformation is a celebration of the RAF’s breadth and diversity.”

The revamped museum, promoted as an ideal family day out, includes a flight simulator, the capital’s only exhibit of a Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II stealth fighter and more than 500 objects.

The RAF Museum in Hendon. Pic: Benedict JohnsonThe RAF Museum in Hendon. Pic: Benedict Johnson

These include a signed collar given to bouncing bomb inventor Barnes Wallis by Dambusters raid leader Guy Gibson.

“The objects tell amazing, powerful stories,” Ms Appleton said.

These include sand taken from Stalag Luft III, the Nazi prisoner of war camp made famous by film The Great Escape.

Ms Appleton, whose father was a bomb loader in World War II, explained how in the past the museum strayed from its purpose focusing too much on technology and losing sight of “the amazing stories” of the people who make up the service.

The RAF Museum in Hendon. Pic: Benedict JohnsonThe RAF Museum in Hendon. Pic: Benedict Johnson

Stories including that of wartime heroine Noor Inayat Khan whose pacifist family moved to England at the approach of the Second World War.

Khan – keen to fight against Nazi aggression – joined the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force before being drafted into the special operations executive as a wireless operator.

She was dropped into occupied France where she managed to evade capture for three months before she was betrayed and caught by the Nazis. She was executed at Dachau concentration camp on September 13, 1944.

“Part of our mission is to tell that story,” Ms Appleton said. “It’s a great example of how people from different walks of life contributed to the war.

The RAF Museum in Hendon. Pic: Benedict JohnsonThe RAF Museum in Hendon. Pic: Benedict Johnson

“It’s about paying tribute and doing justice to the amazing men and women of the RAF.”

Latest Ilford Stories

11:00

Essex Senior League: Ilford 1 West Essex 2

10:15

Essex Senior League: Stanway Rovers 1 Redbridge 2

Letters, contributions and comments sent in from Recorder readers this week.

For the past nine months as Members of Youth Parliament (MYP) we have participated in a vast array of activities and events, ranging from meeting adult MPs to attending conventions.

Yesterday, 18:06

Stopper became a father for second time just hours before winning man of the match award in win over Fylde

Yesterday, 17:01

Vanarama National League: Dagenham & Redbridge 2 (Wilkinson 28, Munns 64) Fylde 1 (Bond 1)

Yesterday, 16:56

Leyton Orient came from behind to beat Bromley and extend their unbeaten run in the National League to six matches, while also returning to the top of the table.

Yesterday, 12:00

Pupils from three Redbridge schools were able to discover more about science and the aviation industry at an event organised by London City Airport.

PROMOTED CONTENT

Are you an unpaid carer aged 25 or over? Are you interested in working towards getting into or back into work? Do you need practical help and support to get ready for this big step? If your answer is yes to at least two of these questions read on.

Struggling to find a buyer for your home in a slower market? We speak to Ilford property expert Nina Kaura from Portico about the Crossrail effect and why getting things right first time will get you the best price for your property.

Exchange Ilford is a shopping centre on a mission to make it a more welcoming and accessible place to the people of Redbridge.

Newsletter Sign Up

Ilford Recorder twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read news

Show Job Lists

Education Promo

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Ilford Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now