The Biggin Hill Memorial Museum Trust have just published an open letter which is available as a link below to view. The responses to the letter can also be found below.
Several people have told us of the BHMM ‘Open letter’, and have asked us for clarification of some points, one being a lady from Downe. Please see below our reply to her, which if necessary would be part of an official response if the papers decide to print the BHMM letter.
Dave and Rita
“Hi ‘Lady in Downe’,
At no time did we state that the bricks were made in Germany or Austria, please see below. Wienerberger have now bought up and established so many plants in Europe it is obvious that the bricks will have come from somewhere on the western side, could well be the Netherlands. What we do know is that they arrive in the UK at Purfleet and Hull docks. Our argument has always been why not British bricks at a memorial to the Royal Air Force who
defeated the Luftwaffe. Rather than that the Council chose an imported mass-produced machine-made ‘Euro-brick’ manufactured by this huge Austro-German company. If they were a genuine hand-made brick (as promised) made by an independent manufacturer in the Netherlands that would be another matter and difficult to argue against.
The BHMM Trust can’t say they haven’t destroyed trees planted in memory of deceased RAF servicemen. Plantings occurred from 1951 by members the RAF community who are now
most likely dead themselves! The person who ordered the cutting down of the flowering cherry (in bloom) which had to be over sixty years old, has to be described as heartless and those who acted out the order mindless, at the least. These trees and shrubs have appeared in photographs for the past fifty years! If someone arrived in Downe Village and suggested the 13th century St Mary’s Church, incidentally in common with the RAF Chapel grade two listed
and in a conservation area, should be returned to how it was in 1500 by removal of later additions and trees, he would most certainly be classified as a lunatic! The Council and its BHMM Trust’s lack of empathy and knowledge of the history of the Chapel has been evident since they first took charge of the building, the first example was their refusal to support the campaign to retain perhaps the most important item in the Chapel, the 92 Squadron Standard. Once it had been secured on the word of Air Marshal Sir Baz North, no less, the Chairman of the BHMM Trust Bruce Walker then had the audacity to issue a press release claiming credit!
Whenever the BHMM Trust is ‘found out’ they make nonsense statements as is happening now. I am sure they ‘can fool some of the people some of the time, but not all of the people all of the time’.
The BHMM Trust won’t be happy to be informed that we have received hundreds of emails from the RAF community, the word often used to describe what has been inflicted on the Chapel is desecration. Some have described scattering their relatives’ ashes quietly and unannounced under the Spitfire and Hurricane or the Battle of Britain window at the end of the St George’s room between the Irish Yews. One message that brought tears to our eyes described the sender’s enduring memory of his father, who had been a Medical Officer at the time of the Battle of Britain, was him standing in front of the Reredos sobbing inconsolably reading the names of his dead comrades – these people have been sorely let down by the Council and their BHMM Trust. They are rightly being criticized, this is not their place to vandalise!
As for the removal of plaques this is more nonsense, the first we have heard of this!
The planning application was never for two phases! Only when it became apparent that they would not have funding to complete the project it suddenly became two phases. Please see page 1 of report No DRR17/032 and also then page 7 and 8 which tell the truth.
Page 1 fraudulently states: ‘The development of the Biggin Hill Memorial Museum project is now complete and all funding is secure’ (please see attachments).
Hopefully this reassures you who are the good guys.
Dave and Rita”
open letter from The Biggin Hill Memorial Museum Trust