Aviation Heritage Centre Update

The 2014 summer season has seen the Aviation Heritage Centre have one of its busiest periods since opening.

The Heritage team hosted the Air Cadet Summer camp every Wednesday evening, imparting to the cadets the rich history of our unit whilst instilling the core values and ethos of our Service. The cadets also enjoyed the Heritage Centre quiz, which we provide to all visiting school and youth organisations. In total during this period the team welcomed over 500 visitors, who ranged from the cadet forces to veterans, squadron associations and VIPs; acting as a showcase for visiting dignitaries and military groups. The Heritage Centre team also met each and every request for station visits from the Media and Engagement team and also covered the weekend open days.

To remember the start of the First World War, the team, under the supervision of WO Dougie Law, prepared a special tribute exhibition to all the WWI airmen who won the Victoria Cross (VC). This exhibition gives an insight into each of the Air VCs of that conflict.

On a more sporting note, the Heritage Committee was approached by the RAF Marham football team who needed money to purchase new tracksuits and training kit. The committee saw this as an opportunity to give something to the Station and voted £500.00 to be made available. During the next financial year funds will be generated to support not only sporting initiatives, but FD trips too, contact the Curator for more info.

Our historic collection grew considerably this summer thanks mainly to the kindness and generosity of the people of Norfolk. Mr Reed DFC a WWII Mosquito Pilot who flew from Norfolk bases, presented the Centre with  his best uniform jacket. He also visited the Centre where he met with the Station Commander, during the visit they compared log books and chatted about flying operations then and now. Mr Brown of Cromer who was the executor of the estate of Squadron Leader David Gordon Knight DFC an RAF Air Gunner, gifted a WWII Mae West life preserver and a very rare US Army Air Corps B7 Flight Jacket. The jacket was issued to the Squadron Leader when he flew as a Gunner on the B17C High Altitude Stratosphere bombing experiment with 90 Sqn in 1941. More detail on this remarkable story on the display.

The Service has also been very kind with the gifting of a 1,000lb bomb and a Mk10a Ejection seat, thanks to the sections who helped to make those display items become a reality.

At Christmas the Centre will create a special Christmas tree. The tree will become a festive focal point where relatives of the fallen can sponsor a name tag, upon which they can put the name of a loved one. These tags will be hung from the branches for the festive period and will remember the losses from all conflicts. The proceeds from the sponsorship will go to the Bomber Command Upkeep fund.

Finally there are still vacancies on the Heritage team, should you wish to join, please contact FS Oates DATO C4i. Be aware though that there is a degree of commitment required, especially during the monthly open days and Station visits. In return you get to take part in a living history project, whilst helping to share our experiences with the wider community.