This is a community information site for residents, or anyone interested in Biggin Hill in the South-East of England (nicknamed “Biggin on the Bump” by the RAF!). We aim to provide up-to-date local information, some history about the area including the famous RAF station, and we also have a growing section on alternative energy… we hope you enjoy your visit.
FESTIVAL OF FLIGHT ADMISSION TICKETS ON SALE THIS WEEK
Date posted: 26-04-2016
Admission tickets for the 2016 Festival of Flight at Biggin Hill Airport on Saturday 11th June go on sale from this week. Application online to www.bhfof.com provides full details and also provides answers to frequently-asked questions.
The heritage of Biggin Hill Airport is synonymous with top class flying displays and matching high caliber ground events and entertainment. As successor to the International Air Fair series, the Festival of Flight is now well established in the summer calendar as a local community event. Once again, the RAF Aerobatic Team ‘The Red Arrows’ will top the bill with one of their dazzling displays and there will be opportunities to meet the pilots.
Another crowd favourite is the RAF’s Battle of Britain Memorial Flight that will feature the Avro Lancaster bomber supported by the immortal Hawker Hurricane and Supermarine Spitfire. Individually and together, the trio will echo the outstanding contribution made by each aircraft during the years of WWll.
The Biggin Hill Heritage Hangar Fighter collection will be presenting one of their outstanding coordinated displays, flown by the UK’s leading display pilots.
Heritage aircraft on show in the air and in the static park include the Boeing B17 ‘Sally B’, the newly restored Bristol Blenheim, a P51 Mustang and the RN Historic Flight’s famous Swordfish, affectionately known as the ‘Stringbag’ by wartime aircrew.
The Breitling Wing Walkers Team will be stunning spectators with their sequence of elaborate manoeuvres while the glamorous lady wing-walkers go through their aerial dance routines and wave to the crowds.
Helicopters will be well represented by the Army Air Corp’s sinister-looking Apache attack machine and from yesteryear the now historic Westland Wasp flown originally by FAA pilots from the decks of smaller ships in an anti-submarine role. The weapons rack would provide for two homing torpedoes.
A selection of large radio-controlled model aircraft will fly in the afternoon display. Watch carefully – it is often difficult to distinguish them from the full scale versions.
On the ground, a Fun Fair will provide engaging activities for children. This year, we are creating a 1960’s village with themed items such as Thunderbirds 3, Dr Who, Batmobile and vintage trade stands including a 1960’s cinema.
The ground event also embraces a huge Craft Fair, steam engines, static aircraft and the finale in the arena of the Roundel Motor Rally with classic cars, an event that started from the historic Brooklands Museum early in the day.
Admission tickets for the Festival are £19.50 per adult. Children of 15 and under are admitted FOC if accompanied by an adult, maximum two children per adult.
On 11th June, gates open at 9am. Flying programme commences at 1pm.
How to buy tickets online: go to website www.bhfof.com and follow instructions.
Telephone Information line (listen only) – 01959 578571
Follow on Facebook: LBHAcommunity and Twitter: @LBHAcommunity
Issued by Biggin Hill Airport Ltd – www.bigginhillairport.com
Media contact is Simon Ames – Head of Communications – M: 07785 745857
To celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain last year, local experience days business IntoTheBlue.co.uk teamed up with Biggin Hill based aviation historian Robin Brooks to produce a video piece on the iconic Supermarine Spitfire.
Presented by Brooks – the author of Kent and the Battle of Britain – the 5 minute production details the aircrafts initial inception from creator RJ Mitchell, its production at Castle Bromwich, and the role it played in the Battle of Britain. Specifically it highlights the significance the aircraft had for the defence of Biggin Hill Airport and the protection it offered the community that surrounds it. Of particular focus is the Spitfire’s head to head battle with the German Messerschmitt 109s, and the superior engineering that gave the RAF key advantages over the Luftwaffe. As Brooks eloquently puts, the battle between the two fighter planes was ‘quite possibly the Spitfires finest hour’.
After delving into the aircrafts rich history, the narrative begins to focus on the return of the Spitfire to the skies in more recent times, and also its rise in popularity. This includes the hard work and dedication of restoration enthusiasts based in, among other places, Biggin Hill – who have brought back to life both one and two seat Spitfires.
Interviewed in the film is two seater Spitfire Pilot Don Signournay, who explains that the credit for this belongs to ‘the enthusiast that have kept these planes flying, and in the air where they should really be’. The success in restoring these historic planes, and the change in the Civil Aviation Authority regulations, has allowed the public to experience the aircraft both in its natural habitat in the air and in the form of hangar tours. Aviation aficionado Andrew Porter, whose spitfire experience features in the film, says of his flight in the aircraft: ‘I am choked up…it’s amazing to think they flew off to war, and some of them didn’t come back.’
The video is available for viewing using the below link.
Concert at Valence School, Westerham.
Saturday, 8th July 2016 at 6:30pm
(gates open at 5:30pm)
Westerham Road (main A25), Westerham, Kent TN16 1QN
“Accessible from Westerham Golf Club entrance.”
This Concert has been organised by the Friends of Valence School (Registered Charity No 275686). We are very grateful to the Eynsford Concert Band for support us and to the Heritage Hangar, Biggin Hill, for providing the Spitfire Display (a very exciting addition to the evening).
Valence School is a Kent Local Authority Special School for students aged 4 – 19 with physical disabilities or complex medical needs. Students attend on both a day and boarding basis.
The School’s address is Valence School, Westerham Road (main A25), Westerham, Kent TN16 1QN. We are situated between Brasted and Westerham and have a shared entrance with Westerham Golf Course. Our grounds were landscaped by Capability Brown and are a lovely setting for such a Concert.
All monies raised will be used by the Friends of Valence School to provide extra equipment for the students and additional social opportunities for them.
We do hope that you will be able to support us by attending this prestigious event and would be grateful if you could pass details on to any of your friends who might be interested. There will be a BBQ, Bar and Refreshments on the night but please feel free to bring your own picnic.
Tickets can be bought or reserved either via the Friends of Valence Website www.friendsofvalence.com or by telephoning the School 01959 562156 / 567847.
Click Here to view PDF -> Concert Flyer – or view the flyer below
“Biggin Hill Airport Beyond the Bump 1″
Currently the highest rated book on Biggin Hill by Amazon.co.uk
The link to book one. www.bit.ly/beyondthebump
Available from Amazon.co.uk @£9.95 plus P&P – 247 PAGES 182 images. Also available on Kindle. Published 2014 by Pilots Pals
Part one of the unwritten story of what happened at R.A.F. Biggin Hill during its final days as an operational fighter station, the preceding years back to the early 50’s and the military era.
This historic Battle of Britain fighter station survived where many others were decommissioned to make room for redevelopment. The closure of London’s Croydon Airport gave birth to a new generation of both private and commercial pilots on this hallowed ground and created a unique training and social environment that would flourish for many years. This publication seeks to record some of the people and their aircraft that facilitated this transaction together with a celebration of the success of one individual who turned his dreams into reality. Part two completes the story of one aviation enthusiast and private pilot.
Joseph J Merchant.
Fancy trying your hand at Archery?
Leaves Green Bowmen shoot right next to the Old Jail Pub in Jail Lane, Biggin Hill. They are a very friendly club and being next to an excellent pub has its advantages. I used to be a member myself but golf got the better of me!
A serious plea for your help…….
THIS COULD BE YOUR FINAL CHANCE TO INFLUENCE THE COUNCIL’S VOTE ON THE FUTURE OF “YOUR” AIRPORT.
The London Borough of Bromley Councillors will be meeting on 25th March at the Civic Centre in Bromley at 7pm to discuss the results of the recent Council Yes/No Consultation. This Consultation revealed results that virtually mirrored those obtained by the airport previously, and the Independent poll carried out by Populus, in spite of a concerted campaign of lies and miss-information from BRAAD and the “No” camp. 31,500 peopke were in favour of the proposals with a total number of votes cast 41,711 – a clear majority in favour of 75.52%!
(for those who are interested the full consultation report (all 213 pages), with indexes, and maps, can be seen here:http://www.bigginhillreunited.
(please ignore the Council comment suggesting that piston engines aircraft will be prevented from using the early and late hours – that is not from the airport and Biggin do not agree with that as any aircraft, subject to agreeing to paying the special surcharge, will of course be accepted)
Many Councillors have indicated that they will not decide whether to vote Yes or No to the proposals until the day of the vote, and that they are not bound to take any notice of the actual public “vote”. It is clear that the way they vote will be influenced by the mood displayed by those there on the evening.
So – with BRAAD recognising that, and mobilising their supporters to be there on the night, it is really imperative we also attend in force to demonstrate the strength of feeling shown in the consultation is really there.
PLEASE therefore come to the meeting to show your support for the proposals – I really cannot express how serious this is – we have but one chance to take control of OUR airport’s future – are we actually prepared, after all our hard work, to allow the NIMBY’s in the No campaign to dictate how our future jobs pan out and businesses run. It really is worth just a couple of hours of your life to protect your future!
As BRAAD’s own campaign says (using the first world war Kitchener poster) – YOUR AIRPORT NEEDS YOU – don’t let us all down! Join us at the Council meeting at 7pm on 25th March at the Civic Centre, Bromley.
Please let me know your intention to come and show your support – email firstname.lastname@example.org
If enough people respond, it may even be possible to help with some transport. Please don’t let us down – this really is the Last Chance Saloon!!
PLEASE HELP US TO PROTECT YOUR FUTURE.
Biggin Hill Reunited
The RAF base at Biggin Hill, south-east of London, played a central part in the Battle of Britain. Part of 11 Group, it was responsible for protecting the south-east of England and guarding the approaches to the capital.
An exterior view of St George’s, the chapel at RAF Biggin Hill. A Supermarine Spitfire and a Hawker Hurricane stand guard outside. (IWM RAF-T 6209)
The Tatsfield Village Website, run in conjunction with the Parish Council, has been in existence for some years. www.tatsfield.org.uk
Breaking News: Biggin HIll AIrport it seems have agreed to make up the shortfall to preserve the St George’s Chapel at Biggen Hill
What an insult to The Few: MoD abandons iconic memorial dedicated to Battle of Britain aces… to save a paltry £50,000
- MoD chiefs plan to close down St George’s Chapel at Biggen Hill, Kent
- The former RAF station was used during the Battle of Britain to repel Nazis
- The chapel is expected to close in 2016 unless it can find a benefactor
- Minister Anna Soubry said it was an ‘inappropriate use of resources’
With its magnificent stained-glass windows, it stands as a fitting memorial to the Battle of Britain pilots who gave their lives to save the nation from Nazi invasion.
But The Mail on Sunday can reveal that the ornately furnished chapel Sir Winston Churchill insisted should remain a ‘permanent’ shrine to the glorious Few is to be closed down and boarded up.
Defying the wartime leader’s express wishes, defence chiefs have decreed that the £50,000- a-year cost of running St George’s Chapel of Remembrance is an ‘inappropriate’ use of resources.
St George’s Chapel, pictured, is at the former RAF station at Biggin Hill in Kent, is threatened with closure
The decision was described last night as ‘a sickening insult’ to the memory of the 544 airmen killed in the pivotal battle, arguably the most important ever fought by Britain.
St George’s stands on the site of the former RAF station at Biggin Hill, Kent, from where Spitfire and Hurricane pilots took off in 1940 to repel Hitler’s Luftwaffe.
Inside, the names of those who died in the battle are inscribed on a roll of honour. It is these men and others who survived who inspired one of Churchill most famous speeches: ‘Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.’
The chapel is expected to attract 25,000 visitors this year, the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain, but is scheduled to close in 2016 unless a benefactor can be found.
Defence Minister Anna Soubry said it ‘no longer provides support to an operational RAF station and as the number of serving RAF personnel using the chapel is very low, continued support to the chapel would be an inappropriate use of defence resources. My officials… have met with the local chaplaincy council to discuss the closure of the site’.
Yet critics of the decision argue that thousands of people visit the chapel each year. Along with regular weekly services, commemorative services are held on Battle of Britain Sunday and Remembrance Sunday.
More than 5,500 people have signed a petition on a Government website against the closure of St George’s.
Sir Winston took a personal interest in the fundraising drive that led to the chapel being built, and wrote to those who made donations, making clear his intention that St George’s should stand as a ‘permanent shrine of remembrance’ to those who gave their lives, adding: ‘We live to hold their reward inviolate and unfading.’
Battle of Britain veteran Tom Neill, 94, described the closure as ‘shameful’ and ‘a sickening insult to those who flew and lost their lives’.
Mr Neill, a retired Wing Commander, said: ‘The chapel is a priceless heirloom and it is being got rid of by sleight of hand. For these politicians and civil servants, this is just a stroke of a pen for them.
‘They should remember the significance of the Battle of Britain. We show such contempt for the sacrifice of our veterans and our history.’
HOW YOU CAN FORCE THE GOVERNMENT TO KEEP THE RAF CHAPEL AT BIGGIN HILL OPEN
An online petition has been set up to urge the Ministry of Defence not to abandon its support of the chapel, which has already attracted more than 6,300 supporters. Add your voice here.
St George’s was built to replace a military chapel which was destroyed by fire in 1946. It was previously threatened in 1989 when the MoD closed Biggin Hill as an operational base, but was granted a reprieve because of its ‘historical importance’.
Oak panels either side of the altar carry the names of hundreds of aircrew who died during the war and badges of 52 RAF squadrons which served at Biggin Hill.
The wooden floor is made from propeller blades from wartime aircraft, while some windows are dedicated to individual pilots who were based at the site. Chapel custodian Laurie Chester said: ‘There is so much history here. Given the sacrifices made in the war, I’ve considered it a privilege to look after the place.’
A Ministry of Defence spokesman said: ‘In order to ensure that the defence budget is spent in the most appropriate way the MOD will look to relinquish ownership of St George’s Chapel by March 2016. However, given its importance, we are exploring options that will ensure the heritage of the chapel is preserved.’
Some of the stained glass windows show the role played by those who supported the aircrew during the war
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2895622/What-insult-MoD-abandons-iconic-memorial-dedicated-Battle-Britain-aces-save-paltry-50-000.html#ixzz3NsPwqJuH
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook
Because of the long term use of asbestos, the United Kingdom has seen a marked increase in cases of the asbestos-caused cancer malignant mesothelioma in the past 20 years. The country’s Health and Safety Executive reports that only 153 cases of the disease were diagnosed in 1968. In 2006, the last year for which statistics are currently available, 2,056 individuals died of mesothelioma. Projections say cases of the disease in the UK will peak around 2015, with approximately 2,500 annual deaths from mesothelioma occurring around that time.
This use of asbestos in military ships makes this even more pertinent to the veterans of the UK. This is supported by the majority of sites with high incidence of mesothelioma being located in towns which were heavily involved in shipbuilding. For more information on asbestos use and treatment options within the UK visit http://www.asbestos.com/ mesothelioma/uk/. Please see BigginHill’s RAF Station page for more information and useful links.
LeeFest: Bromley’s own Music and Arts Festival
Biggin Hill golf club’s plans are ‘horrifying’ say residents
Biggin Hill History.
Many thanks to the News Shopper and Bob Ogley for allowing me to include these articles on BigginHill.co.uk
Termination of The Biggin Hill Air Fair Licence
Issued By The Shareholders of Air Displays International
The New Biggin Hill Library and Swimming Pool. We finally got what we wanted!
Mesothelioma ! Do you know of anyone with this terrible illness. More info at bigginhill.co.uk/rafstation.htm
Autobond Laminator up to B4
Duplo Booklet Maker (80 pages)
Mita Max Flat Book Maker
HP 26500 / 6200
|2 x GuillotineFolding machineLumejet 200Large Format UV FlatbedKM6000 x2Zund G3|
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