Come fly with me
HE RAF Museum in Hendon has been granted £1.783 million by the Heritage Lottery Fund as it continues its multi-million-pound transformation in time to mark the centenary of the Royal Air Force in 2018. The award will enable the museum to tell the story of the historic site, which, as a former airfield, can claim to be one of the cradles of aviation.
In 1911, Claude Graham-white, one of Britain’s first aviator celebrities, set up the London Flying Club, offering training in the flying of monoplanes and biplanes. His spectacular aerial derbies became part of the summer social calendar. In the First World War, the aerodrome was requisitioned by the Royal Air Service, out of whose merger with the Royal
TFlying Corps the RAF emerged in 1918. Graham-white’s factory units became one of the largest aircraftproduction facilities in Britain during the hostilities.
One of the original factory buildings, the Claude Graham-white hangar, has already been transformed as part of the upgrade and houses an exhibition on air power in the First World War.
Drawing on archive and collection artefacts, the Historic Hendon phase of the programme will see the museum working with local volunteers to research and develop interpretation facilities and activities underscoring the site’s unique airfield heritage (www.rafmuseum.org.uk). Jack Watkins