To celebrate 100 years of the Royal Air Force the RAF Museum in London is currently transforming itself and taking its exhibits on the road to places like Gibraltar.
Chief Executive of the Royal Air Force Museum, Maggie Appleton, spoke to Forces Radio BFBS’ Hayley Hammond and shared some fascinating RAF stories from Gibraltar as part of the museums ‘Hidden Heroes’ series of events.
As well as amazing new exhibitions and re-landscaping to bring out the stories of the ancient airfield they are based on, they are also taking this history on the road.
They headed to the rock to tell Hayley of the Gibraltarian stories of the RAF and commemorate the great contribution that Gibraltar has made to the Royal Air Force in its 100 years.
Maggie lists one of her favourite parts of the museum as the Lancaster, describing it as ‘a place of real reflection’. Her father worked on Lancaster’s throughout the Second World War so it has a personal resonance.
Among the speakers at the event were Former Wing Commander Sophy Gardner, Air Vice Marshal David Cooper and HM Governor Ed Davis.
The museum consists of new spaces and new objects they have collected including a yellow prisoner of war suit from the Gulf War which reveals an amazing and contemporary story about heroism. Maggie says:
‘It’s all about bringing those stories up to date and letting people in the UK know all about them.’
‘It’s the combination of stories, storytelling and fantastic objects covering the whole 100 years of the Royal Air Force that really brings the museum to life and makes it relevant for today and the future.’
If you wish to visit the Royal Air Force Museum they are located at the former RAF Hendon, a short 10-minute walk from Collingdale Station, Northern Line in London.
The official opening date is June 30, just in time for Armed Forces Day which this year is to be held in the historic North Wales seaside town of Llandudno.
The RAF Museum is one of the United Kingdom's National Museums which means entrance is free and all are welcome.