When VE Day dawned on 8th May 2020 it was 75 years since the guns fell silent at the end of the war in Europe. Years of carnage and destruction had come to an end and millions of people took to the streets and pubs to celebrate peace, mourn their loved – ones and to hope for the future, but not forgetting those still in conflict until 15th August when it was announced that Japan had surrendered unconditionally to the Allies, effectively ending World War II.
The 75th anniversary provided our nation, and our friends around the world, with an opportunity to reflect on the enormous sacrifice, courage and determination of people from all walks of life who saw us through this dark and terrifying period. To commemorate this important time we are organised VE Day 75, a three-day international celebration that took place from 8th May to 10th May 2020.
It was an opportunity for us all to remember the enormous sacrifices that were made at home and abroad and to joyously celebrate as people did 75 years ago, the arrival of peace in Europe.
BIGGIN HILL FESTIVAL OF FLIGHT 2018
HIGHLIGHTS FROM 2017
RAF CHAPEL – IT BEGGARS BELIEF
The London Borough of Bromley and its BHMM Trust first demolished the Vestry, part of the Grade Two listed Chapel, at a cost of £25k, then started to build the horrible ‘Visitors Centre’ with wholly inappropiate bricks, and now have cut down all the trees and shrubs that had created such an atmosphere of tranquilty at the Chapel over the years since the war.
IT NOW TRANSPIRES THAT THEY DON’T HAVE ENOUGH FUNDING TO COMPLETE THE BUILDING!
The Learning Centre, a large part of the rear of the building, and stipulated by the Council’s own consultants as ‘critical’ to the project, is now on hold and a public appeal has been made for £250K, although in Council and BHMM documentation, the underfunding is £600K to £650K! However the project was ‘bulldozed’ ahead, despite the Council knowing as early as July last year that their funding application to the Clore Duffield Foundation, who finance educational projects, had been unsuccessful (source: LBB Report No: DRR17/032). Unless in the next few months a huge amount of money suddenly magically appears, the rear of the building will not be completed for the planned opening in the Autumn. This is all happening despite the Council claiming to have already achieved funding of £5.3m, so with the costs already accrued within the Council, the cost of this ‘divisive’ inadequate scheme must be in excess of a whopping £6m!
Surely for a Council to start a project of this nature, knowing full funding was not in hand, could be considered extremely dubious?
I am doing everything I can to publicise these facts, so if you think of any way to raise the profile, please do so because it will have more impact than only coming from me.
Thanking you all for your continued support, and please keep spreading the word.
Rita Radford email: email@example.com
AF CHAPEL, MORE BAD NEWS
Two subjects to update you: trees and the bricks being used to build the ‘Visitor Centre’ (for that is all it is!).
Firstly trees, on the 7th April 2018 all the trees and shrubs were cut down from the front of the Chapel, many planted in remembrance of RAF personnel, including the yews and the flowering cherry (in bloom) that have appeared in photos for over 50 years. The area has been totally cleared and I urge you to click on the link below to the petition site, where the photo is now the Chapel as it appears today and the text describes the trees removed. Please also forward this link or this complete newsletter to all your acquaintances, asking them to sign the petition registering their disgust at this further atrocity. One can only wonder what damage will next be inflicted on the Chapel by the London Borough of Bromley.
In our last newsletter we told you of the bricks being used to build the so called museum, they are called ‘Marziale’ made by the huge Austro-German company Wienerberger AG and imported from the continent. They are not a special hand made brick as promised by the Council, but an ‘off the shelf’ machine-made brick that can be sourced from any builders merchant. When our newsletter filtered down to the head of a British brick manufacturer in Buckingshire he contacted the Council, its BHMM Trust and the Patron Randolph Churchill and offered his bespoke hand made wood-fired bricks for FREE, such is his regard for the RAF and Biggin Hill. His offer was REFUSED!! Not only that, he told them that had they contacted the building materials trade organisations in this country, they could have been given all the materials for free! Not only is it obvious that the London Borough of Bromley is totally lacking in empathy for the Chapel, but they have also demonstrated gross ineptitude!
Thanking you all,
Rita Radford. email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Biggin Hill Memorial Museum to be Built with German Companies Bricks!
Photos are appearing of the first facing bricks being laid at the Biggin Hill Memorial Museum building. At the planning stage there was considerable play made that these would be ‘special hand-made’ bricks and presumably at a Memorial to fallen RAF airmen, they would be of UK manufacture. But no, they are an imported machine-made brick, nothing special, manufactured by the Austro-German company Weinerburger AG.
Please read more in our new post . . . . . . . . Biggin Hill Memorial Museum to be Built with German Companies Bricks!
You may be interested to know that Biggin Hill Airport has informed the Council that they are actively looking to reduce the overall volume of light aviation at the Airport. They anticipate that light aviation movements will decline from approximately 35,000 movements annually to around 12,000. In order to achieve this reduction, I understand that the Airport have now served notices to terminate the leases of the resident flying schools, with informal discussions going on for some time now, with the Airport already having the agreement of nearby light aviation aerodromes, Redhill, Surrey and Damyns Hall Farm, Essex, to accept these businesses should they choose to relocate.
The Airport also said that this was a difficult decision for them to take given the longstanding nature of some of the training schools, but that they are no longer able to mix a high volume of light aviation with growing business aviation whilst maintaining high levels of customer service and all importantly, flight safety.
For the avoidance of doubt but for clarity, the Lease and the controls within it, including the Noise Action Plan, remain in place and are not affected by the Airport’s decision.
Residents living under existing light aircraft flight tracks, particularly in and around Keston, should notice the reduced volume of aircraft fairly quickly as the changes come into effect over the next 6 months or so with related training flights stopping.
In terms of overall movement numbers, the Airport envisage that in this time period aircraft movements will decline from around 50,000 movements per annum to somewhere around 30,000 movements per annum.
Biggin Hill RAF Chapel – Biggin Hill Memorial Museum ( BHMM ) – Update
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.
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.
LeeFest: Bromley’s own Music and Arts Festival
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
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