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RAF 100: A What's On Guide To The Royal Air Force's Centenary Celebrations

With the 100th anniversary of the birth of the RAF only a few days away, Forces Network has taken a look at some of the ways you could...

RAF 100 sign

With the 100th anniversary of the birth of the RAF only a few days away, Forces Network has taken a look at some of the ways you could celebrate the historic year.

Events are taking place across the country throughtout the year to mark the creation of Britain's aerial warfare force towards the end of the First World War.

With the motto 'Per Ardua ad Astra' ('Through Adversity to the Stars'), it is the oldest independent air force in the world.

Take a look below at some of the events you could attend to commemorate this special centenary...

 

From 10am-4pm on Saturday (March 31) to Sunday (April 1), the Military Museum Scotland will be holding a special exhibition on 100 years of the RAF featuring military vehicles, RAF re-enactors, Army and RAF regular and reserve personnel and the Mobile Military Museum. Adult entry is £5, with children £2.50.

Just head to the Scottish War Blinded Estate, Legion Hall, Willkeston, West Lothian, EH37 5QB...

Sunday April 1: Open Cockpits Day At Newark Air Museum (Winthorpe, Nottinghamshire)

 

 

Visitors to Newark Air Museum on Sunday will be given the opportunity to view the cockpits and interiors of many of the museum's collection of RAF aircraft.

The Open Cockpits Day event will also feature a host of visiting displays, with admission £9 for adults, £8 for over-65s, £4.50 for children and a family ticket (two adults and three children) costing £24. 

A small additional fee/donation will be applicable when going inside the museum aircraft, which will go towards funding their restoration and refurbishment.

Opening hours are 10am-5pm, with last admission at 4pm. You can find the museum at The Showground, Drove Ln, Winthorpe, Coddington, Newark, NG24 2NY.

Sunday April 1: RAF Air Cadets' Cycle Challenge (Flixton, Manchester)

 

 

On Sunday you can support RAF cadets as they race the distance from RAF Lossiemouth to RAF Odiham, some 600 miles, on static cycles. 

There will be an original Distinguished Flying Cross and a Jet Provost cockpit on display, along with activities for families to take part in. 

It'll all take place from 10am-3pm at the John Alker Club on Flixton Road, Manchester, M41 6QY.

Saturday March 31: Flag Raising At Wakefield Town Hall (West Yorkshire)

 

 

On Saturday the RAF ensign will be hoisted on Wakefield Town Hall's flagpole in the presence of the Deputy Lieutenant of West Yorkshire, Squadron Leader David Dinmore MBE DL RAF (Retd) and the Mayor, Councillor Kevin Barker.

RAF Air Cadets and veterans will be in attendance, with events kicking off at 11am. 

You can find the Town Hall on Wood Street, WF1 2HQ.

Sunday April 1: Exhibition Opening At Cranwell Aviation Heritage Museum (Sleaford, Lincolnshire)

 

 

From Sunday until the end of September, Cranwell Aviation Heritage Museum will be displaying its 'Gallantry in the Air' exhibition, commemorating RAF aircrews who have been decorated for their bravery.

Telling a number of stories of RAF gallantry in World War Two, it will feature many airmen who gained the highest awards for their valour, with some of them paying the ultimate price.

You can catch it at Heath Farm, North Rauceby, Sleaford, NG34 8QR.

Sunday April 1: Open Day At North East Land Sea and Air Museum (Sunderland)

 

 

On Sunday the North East Land Sea and Air Museum, located on the last remaining part of RAF Usworth, will be open to members of the public.

You can see the museum's replica WW1 Morane-Saulnier N, flown by Sunderland-born fighter ace Claude Alward Ridley, which is currently being produced by volunteers with the aid of a National Lottery grant. 

The museum can be found on Old Washington Road, Washington, Sunderland, SR5 3HZ.

Sunday April 1-Monday April 2: RAF 100 Celebrations At The National Museum Of Flight (East Lothian)

 

 

Between Sunday and Monday members of the public will have the chance to meet First World War re-enactors and find out about military flying clothing from both the First and Second World Wars.

There'll also be the chance to learn how to march like RAF personnel and make your own Spitfire aeroplane out of card to take home and fly.

On Easter Monday those aged 10 and over can try their hands at flying an aeroplane in the virtual world, with the help of VR headsets.

Places are limited, so booking your session in the shop on arrival is recommended. You can find the museum at East Fortune Airfield, East Lothian, EH39 5LF.

Friday July 6-Monday July 9: RAF 100 Aircraft Tour At London's Horse Guards

 

Horse Guards building London

Visitors to Horse Guards in London between July 6-9 will have the opportunity to get up close to a selection of iconic aircraft.

The famous building was built in the mid-18th century as a barracks and stables for the Household Cavalry, later becoming an important military headquarters.

Although still in military use, part of the building now houses the Household Cavalry Museum, which is open to the public, while it is still ceremonially defended by the Queen's Life Guard.

Horse Guards is located in Whitehall, Westminster, SW1A 2AX.

Sunday April 1-Monday April 2: Air Waves Portrush (County Antrim)

 

 

Starting on Sunday, the seaside setting of Portrush will see two free days of air displays and ground entertainment.

From historic wartime aircraft to planes at the cutting edge of technology, the event offers flying displays against the backdrop of East Strand beach.

On the ground, attractions include a science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) village, motor village, trade stalls and exhibitions.

The address you'll need is Portrush, County Antrim, BT56 8JQ.

Monday July 23-Thursday July 26: Royal Welsh Show (Builth Wells, Powys)

 

Main Stand Royal Welsh Show (Att Robin Drayton)
Picture: Robin Drayton

The RAF will be attending the Royal Welsh Show throughout its July run, with air and ground displays.

The 'pinnacle event in the British agricultural calendar' sees four-days of livestock competitions, with entries travelling from far and wide to compete.

Along with the forces participation this year, a wide range of activities will be taking place including forestry, horticulture, crafts, countryside sports, shopping, food and drink and a 12-hour daily programme of entertainment, attractions and displays.

Just head down to the Royal Welsh Showground in Builth Wells, LD2 3SY if you're interested.

Nothing for you in the list above? Fear not - the RAF has compiled a comprehensive list of events being held around the country, including those taking place later in the year.

Make sure not to miss out on celebrating this once-in-a-lifetime occasion - and do mention below or on our social media pages if there's any other events people might like to attend...

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