Biggin Hill RAF Chapel – BHMM

Dear Friends,

Some of you may recognise the name of Gavin Stamp, Cambridge Professor of Historic Architecture, from his TV appearances and articles. In the autumn of last year he wrote three articles in Private Eye (editions 1450/52/54) under his pseudonym of ‘Piloti’ that enormously raised the profile of our RAF Chapel campaign, resulting in many signatories. The second one ended: ‘this is a bad divisive scheme (BHMM) and it would be a scandal if it goes ahead’.

It was with shock and great sadness that I learned that Gavin died on 30th December 2017 at the age of 69 from prostate cancer. I did not know of his illness and had yet to ask him how he first became aware of our campaign or to thank him enough for his involvement. Gavin dedicated his life to the fight against architectural vandalism and I urge you to read his detailed obituary in the current edition of Private Eye. There are of course numerous others on the internet.

His other great passion was the architectural work of Sir Giles Gilbert Scott who was resposible for many things amongst which was the red phonebox!

Gavin was born in Bromley and regularly attended the RAF Battle of Britain airshows as a school boy back in the 1950’s and 1960’s. He visited the Chapel and related to me how his uncle’s funeral was held in the Chapel, he had been a rear gunner in Wellington Bombers.

The picture on the petition webpage is now the Architect’s visualization of how Bromley Council and their BHMM Trust want to see the Chapel looking in the future, it was this image that Gavin so disliked and prompted him to write his articles. He was adamant that we continued to oppose the BHMM plans, in his last email to me at the end of October he enquired what we were going to do next. Please click here and continue spreading the word:

https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/protect-biggin-hill-st-george-s-raf-chapel-of-remembrance

It is perhaps an opportune moment to revert to my professional role as a doctor and remind all gentlemen of a certain age to get your PSA checked, and so catch this awful condition early while still treatable.

Rita Radford FRCS. email: rcr.knockholt@btinternet.com

“Hello Paul,
Thank you very much for your support.
Please see below our reply to Randolph Churchill, he never replied!
Hopefully the letter below will also help you with your website update.
Kindest regards
Dave and Rita ”

Dear Randolph Churchill,

I am forwarding to you a copy of the letter we have been compelled to distribute to refute the inaccurate information contained in your letter of 3rd October.
I fear you have been ‘misled’ by the BHMM Trust over many issues, and the true facts are set out below.

I have also attached an interesting note from your illustrious great grandfather, dated 1954, to his Minister of Works, regarding wanton felling of trees in some parks. Unfortunately his strong sentiments are not held by Bromley Council or their BHMM Trust.

Yours very sincerely,

Rita C Radford MB. BS. FRCS (Eng)

Dear RAF Chapel Interested Parties,

In an open letter primarily directed towards the RAF community, Randolph Churchill, great grandson of Winston Churchill and Patron of the BHMM Trust, has accused Rita Radford and myself, David Evans, instigators of the 38 Degrees Petition to Protect the Biggin Hill Memorial Chapel, of deceiving signatories into believing that the entire Chapel is being demolished by the London Borough of Bromley.

The BHMM scheme has many contentious aspects, the demolition of the Vestry, the unacceptable design of the Museum building to replace the Vestry, the closure of the Chapel for over a year, and the loss of the St George’s Room to become part of the Museum, to mention just four. Rather than admit that this is, as stated by Cambridge Professor of Architecture Gavin Stamp, ‘a bad divisive scheme’, the BHMM Trust have influenced Randolph Churchill to make this undignified claim, without providing the reader with any proof. The Petition is rightly named ‘Protect’ the Biggin Hill Chapel – against the plans of the London Borough of Bromley who now own the Chapel and are hell-bent on ‘bulldozing’ their scheme through, against the wishes of currently 21,000 plus signatories.

When Randolph Churchill’s letter was first brought to our attention on October 3rd, by editors of the Local Press, it coincided with the petition going up by 500 signatures in little more than 24 hours! When asked by the editors to comment about the accusation, I directed them to their own previous articles on the project, which either featured the Trust’s own Architect visualisations, clearly showing the main part of the Chapel unaffected, or my photographs of the Vestry to be demolished. After this there was either no local press coverage or only token articles.

When the petition was first started, I contacted every RAF/Veteran/ Historic Aircraft and Airfield related organisation and all possibly interested individuals I could find, providing them with pictures and information. Some of the earliest signatories included those keeping the name and the aimsof the Air Crew Association alive, such as Air Commodore Jack Broughton OBE, and former Biggin Hill Commanding Officer Air Commodore Graham Pitchfork MBE, and they are in no doubt as to the exact details of the Council’s plans. Nor is Air Vice Marshall Sir Baz North, who was instrumental in the Chapel retaining its 92 Squadron Standard some 18 months ago, and is now heading the Royal Air Force Association. I sent him a comprehensive package by post, containing information with pictures and subsequently we received a very personal hand written reply. I am sure if Randolph Churchill’s letter had made its way to these distinguished gentlemen and all the others whom I similarly contacted, it would I suspect have been viewed very sceptically! I have also replied to hundreds of emails coming in via the petition, requesting information and photos, and all signatories have received regular emails, updating them on how the situation has sadly progressed. Nowhere have we said or suggested that the entire Chapel is to be demolished, to suggest we have been anything less than transparent is not only nonsense, but bordering on libellous.

Robert Hardman’s article in the Daily Mail on Battle of Britain Day 15th September was very balanced, as were the two items on BBC TV News, which may still be viewed by going to the Downe Village website: www.downe-kent.org.uk When you arrive scroll down.

Every possible opportunity has been taken to show people the BHMM design, as it always ensures more signatories! For example at the recent Biggin Hill Airshow we had large A2 photographs of the Vestry to be demolished and A2 architect visualisations of both the BHMM scheme and the Biggin Hill Battle of Britain Supporters Club museum design. As soon as the attendees viewed the pictures, they took our leaflet and the result was we estimate around 7000 more signatures. I have attached to this email the pictures we used and the leaflet, which I hope you will agree is unambiguous.

In contrast, the BHMM Trust have never had the courage of their convictions and made the top picture of their website their vision of how the Chapel should look in the future. They have always, from day one, two years ago, hidden their intentions behind a photo of how the Chapel looks today, or should I say how it looked until two weeks ago, before the Vestry was demolished and all of the trees and shrubs were removed on the left hand side of the Chapel. Their planning permission allows for the removal of 26 trees and shrubs, regardless of whether they had been planted in memory of a loved one many years ago. This defoliation of the site, along with the stark design of the Museum building, has resulted in some people making the extreme claim that it will look like a Concentration Camp!

The Planning Permission was only granted on a split decision and it is generally agreed it should have been deferred. We and many others were unhappy with the Council’s planning procedures and quickly applied to the Local Government Ombudsman, requesting he reviewed the case. Eventually we were allocated an Inspector who requested a huge amount of information from the Council by the end of Sept 2017. The Council left it to the very last moment to comply with this and then immediately started to demolish the Vestry! Speaking to many involved with Local Government affairs this has been seen at the very least as incredibly disrespectful to the Inspector. One of the points of contention has been the Council’s unwillingness to acknowledge the status of the Vestry. If you google: Memorial Chapel List Entry No 1391588 you will read in the description of the building a section which starts: ‘the large Chapel to the North’ – this is referring to the Vestry. The Memorial Chapel was comprised of three parts, of which the Vestry was the second largest and externally was the most decorative. Demolition of any part of the Listed Building, regardless of the age of that part, constitutes part demolition of the Listed building. Now the Vestry has been demolished presumably the Chapel will have to be relisted because the building description is incorrect ?
For the life of me I cannot see how anyone can say that by demolishing the Vestry, which was built to blend seamlessly with the rest of the Chapel, and then replace it with a characterless, stark, flat-roofed block of a building, returns the Chapel to how Winston Churchill would have recognised it in 1951. One thing is for sure that as an amateur bricklayer he would have appreciated the craftsmanship of the Vestry, I very much doubt he would appreciate the design of the BHMM building!

This inappropriate, unpopular scheme is being financed by the public via the Heritage Lottery Fund to the tune of nearly £2 million pounds. During a long phone conversation with the Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund, Stuart Hobley, I pressed him to confirm or deny whether he described the BHMM scheme as ‘exemplary’ and he would not say, but directed me towards his Press Statement which I have found on the internet and it does not use that word. However the word ‘exemplary’ occurs in the Planning Application documents written by the Council in its application to itself, and is regularly heaped on the design by the Council and its Trust since then. I would say this is a case of ‘self praise’ which I was always told was no recommendation. Rita and I have made a Freedom of Information Act request for all the documentation relating to this grant in an attempt to ascertain why the Funds Committee were in favour of this plan which is so disliked by the public, who contributed the funds! A month later we have still received nothing!

Randolph Churchill also claims that the Church Community supports the plans, no sir, they do not! The Archdeacon Paul Wright does as a member of the Trust, but I say he pretty much speaks for himself. If Randolph Churchill and Paul Wright had been at the Battle of Britain Service at the Chapel on the 17th Sept (the last service for over a year) they would have witnessed the distress these plans have caused, with members of the Choir leaving the Chapel with tears running down their faces, vowing never to sing in the Chapel again. I can only remember Paul Wright ministering at the Chapel once and I have never witnessed Randolph Churchill actually being there, although I am prepared to be corrected in both cases. However, what I will say for certain is that for a Trust member Paul Wright’s knowledge of the Chapel has been minimal, so much so that I have taken upon myself on three occasions to deliver information to him directly at his Archdeaconry in Chislehurst. Rita spoke on the phone to Randolph Churchill nine months ago and emails were exchanged, and he was equally in the dark and kept saying to her (rather than answering her points) that she needed to talk the Trust’s Vice Chairman who would have all the information.
With no services for over a year and the loss of the facilities provided by both the Vestry (demolished) and the St George’s Room (designation changed to become part of the Museum) the fear is that the congregation will drift away and worship will eventually cease. This has always been the concern of Chapel stalwart, former Air Crew Selection Centre Commanding Officer, Air Commodore John ‘Tinkle’ Bell OBE. His opposition to the plans has always been centred around the need to keep the Chapel a ‘Living Church’.

As for the ‘Friends’ of the Chapel, this has a membership of around 100, many of whom are elderly and do not have computers or internet connections. Some are overseas and I would say that some even now are not fully aware as to what is occurring. When the Planning Application was first submitted, as a member I wrote to the Chairman requesting an early ‘special’ AGM and a vote on the plan, as this was the biggest issue concerning the Chapel since its inception. He refused and at the regular AGM after the St George’s Day Service on the 23rd April 2017, he started the meeting by saying he was not having any discussions on the matter and that he, and I suppose a Committee, had made the decision to support the plans and that was that. Despite his assertion that there would be no discussion, he had invited two Trust members to defend the scheme from the ‘Friends’ members, but neither of them had any response to the elderly gentleman of whom we tell in the petition statement, and who left all three absolutely speechless, the Chairman then resorted to immediately closing the meeting.
We know many members have signed the Petition because they have told us so, or we have seen their names on the Petition list. More proof that this is a bad divisive plan and as a consequence of all this both Rita and I have been barred from the ‘Friends’ by the Chairman.
Much play has been made by the Trust concerning the need to close the Chapel for essential repairs, but viewing the Trust’s own business plan shows that there really is only minimal work to be done and certainly nothing requiring closure for over a year, for example the ‘hoo-ha’ over the asbestos that there is in the Chapel. I asked the Curator of the Chapel for the past twenty years about this and it turns out to be the relatively ‘safe’ concrete asbestos sheet material that is on the underside of the radiator shelves. I could have replaced the shelves myself free of charge and if I could not have done the job in a couple of days I would have considered myself a failure!

Finally, Randolph Churchill makes the statement that the Chapel will remain free to enter (no – not all of it !) as if this were some kind of concession and also claims that Veterans support the scheme. I think I will leave the closing words to a most erudite Veteran, who in a personal letter to Randolph Churchill, pleads for a Museum design that is supported by the public and – ‘which truly reflects the noble history of RAF Biggin Hill’ – and tells him the truth, that this BHMM Museum scheme has little grass roots support and is – ‘vacuous and ill-conceived’.

Yours faithfully,

David R Evans and Rita C Radford

PS. A rather apposite quote from Charles Prince of Wales:
“You have to give this much to the Luftwaffe, when it knocked down our buildings it did not replace them with anything more offensive than rubble. We did that.”

Chain are playing at the Biggin Hill Sports and Social Club from 8.30pm on 6th January 2018.

Classic Rock Band, Chain, are playing at the Biggin Hill Sports and Social Club from 8.30pm on 6th January 2018.

It’s generally for members but for a small entrance fee, anyone can come in – please contact Jo on 079622 19698 for more info’

Chain are a four (sometimes five) piece rock covers band. We cover songs from Clapton, Fleetwood Mac, Hendrix, the Stones KT Tunstall and many more.

Previous Artist of the Week on Lemonrock. Our Webmaster has now seen them three times and would highly recommend going along to see them.

Mesothelioma

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.

For legal options for asbestos victims visit https://www.mesotheliomalawyercenter.org/mesothelioma-lawyer/

Biggin Hill Airport Beyond the Bump 1 by Joseph J Merchant

“Biggin Hill Airport Beyond the Bump 1″

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000038_00070]

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.

C5-P15

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.
ISBN 978-0-9929626-0-9

Concert at Valence School – 2016

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

Concert Flyer

BRAAD

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.co.uk/consultationresults.pdf )

(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 john@bigginhillreunited.co.uk

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.

John Willis

Biggin Hill Reunited

The Chapel at Biggin Hill

RAF Biggin Hill

raf_biggin_hill

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

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Breaking News: Biggin HIll AIrport it seems have agreed to make up the shortfall to preserve the St George’s Chapel at Biggen Hill

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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

St George’s Chapel, pictured,  is at the former RAF station at Biggin Hill in Kent, is threatened with closure

The names of the 544 men who died during the Battle of Britain are inscribed inside the chapel, pictured

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.

It is expected that 25,000 people will visit the chapel this year on the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain

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.

continued support to the chapel would be an inappropriate use of defence resources
Defence Minister Anna Soubry

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 some of those who supported the air crew

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

2017 FESTIVAL OF FLIGHT

FESTIVAL OF FLIGHT ADMISSION TICKETS ON SALE THIS WEEK

The ‘Red Arrows’ performing at Biggin Hill Airport in June 2015 Photo credit: Mike Rivett

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

Biggin Hill Community Site