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Gerrardandrews

Have we lost the Battle of Britain Hall at Hendon

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I've a feeling the Battle of Britain hall is no more or changed it's name.

Sad, if that's the case, should have made more of this historical turning point of the War.

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Posted (edited)

RAFM will be using the Hall to house its exhibition on the RAF's centenary next year.

 

I agree, however. The Battle of Britain is the pivotal point in the RAF's history, whatever the revisionists like to say. On top of that the Battle of Britain Hall housed one of the finest collections of 1940s German combat aircraft anywhere. Unfortunately in the corporate world of museum management where everything must be relevant and family friendly and not too taxing for bears of little brain, I am dubious of just what RAFM is planning for the centenary exhibition.

 

Edited by T7 Models
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Yes we wait to see what they will do, I hope its good but like T7 I have my doubts. Even more so after a trip to the Imperial War Museum last year.

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Maybe Political move, lot people like to sweep history under a big carpet.

We need a bigger museum for this historical event, not close it down.

 

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No as said before the hall is being used for a major exhibit to celebrate the 100 Years of the RAF. What happens after is anyones guess.

 

Can we also steer away from delving into politics please.  It's one of the few subjects that's not permitted here. :fraidnot:

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While I didn't get there when I visited England a few years ago (long story) I do hope that the Battle of Britain hall is reconstituted in some form, so that my wife and youngest daughter and I can visit it in the future.

 

The Battle of Britain was the first time during the Second World War that German forces were checked in a major campaign. This is one of the significant aspects of the battle, and one that resounded not only with the British but with other peoples that would experience the onslaught of the Axis powers.

 

History is a discipline that continually reassesses evidence, but that does not change the result of this pivotal campain.

 

DennisTheBear

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13 hours ago, T7 Models said:

RAFM will be using the Hall to house its exhibition on the RAF's centenary next year.

 

I agree, however. The Battle of Britain is the pivotal point in the RAF's history, whatever the revisionists like to say. On top of that the Battle of Britain Hall housed one of the finest collections of 1940s German combat aircraft anywhere. Unfortunately in the corporate world of museum management where everything must be relevant and family friendly and not too taxing for bears of little brain, I am dubious of just what RAFM is planning for the centenary exhibition.

 

 

I don't think you can criticise a museum for wanting to be relevant and family friendly.  The RAFM is paid for with public money so should be something that appeals to everybody.  Getting people through the door should be one of its primary objectives.  If you don't get people in you'll never be able to widen their interests and present history and knowledge to them they may not have come across before.

 

I see that some of Hendon's aircraft are moving up to Cosford.  The South's loss is the Midland's gain. 

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I dont think Mr T7 is criticising them being relevent as rightly said all museums have to do this to get people in, its more the taxing of little brains I, and no doubt he has the objection to.

 

I have no problems with multi media, interactive displays etc if, and I say IF they bring something to the museum, but not if they just replace genuine exhibits. The IWM used to have a really great collection of art in the upper galleries which if anything brought across the horrors of war more in my humble opinion than photos, films etc could do. Most of this collection ios not didplayed anymore. If does not have to be old paintings either, the new exhibit for the gulf etc was very good and relevent but is a bit tucked away. I still think even todays modern youth would be interested in Tanks, guns, aerpolanes etc to see. I know they are at Hendon and other museums I have been to so I feel removing this in favour of other things is not great.

 

We should not be too bad on Hemdon as we dont know what they are planning yet, so we will wait and see. I do feel that the BOB hall needs to be re-instated at some point as has been pointed out it was a pivitol moment in WWII and the collection houses some very rare (and in some cases only) surviving exhibits.

 

Julien

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Posted (edited)

Churchill described the Battle of Britain (how I abhor the commonly-used abbreviation "BoB"; would the Americans accept Pearl Harbour as "PH"?) as "their finest hour": 2020 will mark the 80th anniversary of that pivotal moment in history which, had it ended differently, would probably mean that none of us would be doing this (or perhaps even being permitted to do this) if we had ever come to exist at all.

 

With so few of the participants remaining alive that may be the last opportunity for those of us out here who have cause to be grateful for it to publicly show our gratitude and where might be better than a national museum exhibit........ Oh, we haven't got one any more, half of it's gone to Cosford and all we've got are some broken hands-on, no-longer-interactive gadgetry (the last time I visited the "Aeronauts" display a very high proportion of the "exhibits" in there were showing more than a bit of wear n tear and a number were completely inoperative).

 

I'm sorry this has become a bit of a rant: RAFM has, like so many other great museums, become a victim of the Blair government's "free museum access" policy which has denied them all day-to-day income, reducing immediately-available and locally-controlled funding for acquisition and conservation.  When one has a SWMBO whose attitude to donations is somewhere further to the right than Atilla the Hun and a monitoring system that makes the CIA look like rank amateurs it's difficult to slip the odd fiver or tenner in the box (yeah, rants and guilt trips in the same post, and lots of brackets too).

Edited by stever219
Missed bus; have to wait 30 mins for next, more rant time
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I've seen similar concerns expressed about the National Army Museum, which is reopening after a complete revamp which I've got to admit I hadn't realised was happening - I've not been out that way in many years. It must be at least a decade since I was in the IWM but a quick google suggests that not everybody is happy with its last makeover. Museums that I do visit have most certainly been 'dumbed down'. I've commented before on the Manchester Air and Space Museum (as was). I call in fairly regularly at the Discovery Museum in Newcastle, for no other reason than that it's near Central Station and convenient when I've got time to kill waiting for my train. Compared to the wonderful old Museum of Science and Engineering of my childhood, which it absorbed, that element of its collections is the palest of shadows - interesting exhibits, the ones that haven't simply vanished, are displayed with no interpretation and/or in a way that makes them impossible to view properly, as if the museum resents being lumbered with them. Same with the so-called "Great North Museum" on the other side of town, which swallowed the old Hancock Museum (natural history) and the university's Museum of Antiquities but isn't a patch on either. I'm all in favour of museums developing in a way that captures people's imagination: staying on Tyneside, the Roman sites at Wallsend and South Shields have done it very successfully with reconstructed buildings. But aiming them at the lowest common denominator is counterproductive: they end up neither challenging casual visitors to increase their knowledge nor appealing to enthusiasts.

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Part of the problem with these revamped museums is the funding by the Heritage Lottery Fund who have a big say in how their cash is spent. He who pays the piper calls the tune, as the saying goes.

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I have to say I too fear that revamping all too often results in mediocrity and banal push button toys for exhibits on the basis that modern man presumably needs something akin to an Xbox to attract his attention.  

 

Edinburgh Chambers Street is now a mish mash of fancy pricey cafes and disjointed exhibits with themed displays such as "The Vikings" that you pay a fee to see coupled with interactive exhibits that do not work.

 

Some years back I heard mutterings that East Fortune was being considered as too militaristic and that there needed to be more emphasis on civil aviation.  PC or what?  Last time I was there the time line display of Wot happened in WW2 had a very nice photo titled HMS Warspite fires broadside or something.  Good picture too.  Pity it said either Musashi or Yamato.  My ship identification is not good enough to distinguish which one but Warspite never had raked funnels and a floatplane on the back.  

 

The function of a museum is to educate way before entertaining. It's not a Disney theme park.

 

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I think that many museums are at the tender mercies of the personal whims of the head curator or whoever actually manages the place.

 

Mike.

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Many of these head curators/chief executives have their management or tourism degrees but very little practical knowledge of how these places work or even of the subject they are about. This is why very often if you want to be informed go to the smaller, volunteer-led places. They may not have all the flashy displays. but you can be sure that what they do have is accurate and the people on duty will know about the subject.

 

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Of which Brooklands is a shining example.  Hit the place during the week and you will be falling over people, frequently with direct hands-on experience, only too keen to talk about and even demonstrate the exhibits.  Sadly they are all getting older but the enthusiasm shines through. Gratuitous plug but credit where it is due.

 

Not sure assuming visitors are brain-dead will be a successful way ahead for museums.  Just back where from the island of Grenada, where the signboards at various viewpoints did not assume that explanations of rock formation, erosion, vegetation processes, etc were beyond the mental grasp of visitors.  Mind you, education is not a dirty word there. 

Edited by Seahawk
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I agree that there should be a separate Battle of Britain collection, it is only common sense to group these aircraft together and who would want to break the collection up and scatter it's aircraft to other parts of the museum or museums.

Most of all I would like to see these aircraft exhibited in an area with enough space to be able to walk round them, and most importantly in an area with proper lighting. The last time I visited you couldn't get close enough to the aircraft to see them in the dark, it was like looking for a screwdriver in my shed after nightfall.

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I would like to see these aircraft exhibited in an area with enough space to be able to walk round them, and most importantly in an area with proper lighting.

 

I agree and said so to the HLF advisers for the bid being placed with them by the museum I volunteer at. The look I got said it all - no one goes to a museum for research any more. :lalala:

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6 hours ago, Aeronut said:

 

I agree and said so to the HLF advisers for the bid being placed with them by the museum I volunteer at. The look I got said it all - no one goes to a museum for research any more. :lalala:

 

I only want to get close enough and to have enough light to see the exhibits though :rage:.

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