Bentley Priory Museum

Bentley Priory Museum Bentley Priory Museum tells the fascinating history of Bentley Priory, focusing on its role as Headquarters Fighter Command during the Battle of Britain.
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The barmaid who built Spitfires:In October 1940, a few days after her 18th birthday, Gertrude Campion reported for the f...
12/05/2020

The barmaid who built Spitfires:

In October 1940, a few days after her 18th birthday, Gertrude Campion reported for the first day of the “war work” that had been advertised on the wall of the Anna Valley Motor Garage in Salisbury. Unknown to the locals, the garage and the nearby Wessex bus depot had been hastily converted for Spitfire wing production, as part of the dispersal plans.
She was trained for three jobs on the wing leading edge; spray painting, aligning the skins/riveting and assembling gun heaters. Initially lacked even basic equipment and specialist tools. Little safety - one lady was literally scalped when her hair caught in a pillar drill.
10 or 11 hour shifts, with one hour down for maintenance, and Sunday off. Experienced men worked as managers and quality control, older ladies as supervisors. Good and plentiful food in the staff canteen. Physically tiring work - but a good wage for an 18 year old, allowing a decent social life with dances and cinema visits.
Constant invasion threats and overwhelming fear of becoming forced labour for the Luftwaffe meant the shop floor workers all used nick names. So Gertrude became ‘Peggy’ and was referred to on rotas by her factory number AV91. No record existed on site with any personal details whatsoever.
In due course the main factory moved to a purpose built site on the edge of town (now a prestige exhaust factory in Spitfire Way), and Peggy recalled production ramping up with 300/400 per shift.
After the war Peggy tried to stay in the motor trade, as a spray painter or welder, but that was men’s work again.
So Peggy went back to being a barmaid.
#Remembering80Years #BoB80

Scramble School: Medals were awarded to pilots during WW2 for various reasons, such as being brave or doing something sp...
11/05/2020

Scramble School: Medals were awarded to pilots during WW2 for various reasons, such as being brave or doing something special. Think about a 'hero' in your life and design a medal for them.https://bentleypriorymuseum.org.uk/wp/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Medals-for-Heroes-Activity.pdf #heroesmw

It’s day one of #MuseumWeek and we’re shining the spotlight on the #HeroesMW of the Battle of Britain: The One, The Few ...
11/05/2020

It’s day one of #MuseumWeek and we’re shining the spotlight on the #HeroesMW of the Battle of Britain: The One, The Few and The Many - the courage of 2,937 British and Allied aircrew who fought above the skies and those who worked tirelessly on the ground - without whom victory would not have been possible.
At RAF Bentley Priory, men and women of the RAF and WAAF worked long shifts under great pressure within the Filter Room and Operations Room, where ACM Dowding monitored the intelligence required for vital decision-making.

We were saddened to hear of the passing of Flight Lieutenant Terry Clark, who died on the eve of VE Day 75 at the age of...
10/05/2020

We were saddened to hear of the passing of Flight Lieutenant Terry Clark, who died on the eve of VE Day 75 at the age of 101.

Mr Clark joined the RAF in 1938 and was posted to No. 219 Squadron two days into the Battle of Britain, in July 1940. He was an air gunner during the battle and achieved six enemy defeats to be awarded the Distinguished Flying Medal. Later in the war, Mr Clark trained in radar and served as a Radio Observer.

As VE Day 75 commemorations come to a close we remember Terry, who was one of the last two surviving members of the 'The Few':
'Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few'.

08/05/2020
The Spitfire Song

Bentley Priory Museum has selected music to accompany your VE Day 75 celebrations. Enjoy 1940s tunes by Tonic Choir Directors Philip Barnett and Bryan Kesselman to get your party going!
http://www.tonicchoir.co.uk/musical-directors.html
#VEDay75 #VEDayathome
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gwgMeXWqt_E&list=PLm9BRLVRrfUiM8V7HzxMhcBWy7t_si1kl

Commemorate VE Day with songs from the 1930s & 1940s! Song: The Spitfire Song (King) With thanks to Bryan Kesselman (Vocals & Piano) and Philip Barnett (Voca...

Today marks the 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe.Visit our VE Day 75 at Home page for crafts, Museum Volunteer memo...
08/05/2020

Today marks the 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe.
Visit our VE Day 75 at Home page for crafts, Museum Volunteer memories, music and more to help you commemorate the occasion:
https://bentleypriorymuseum.org.uk/ve-day-75-at-home/
We've collated a list of national 'virtual' events, so you can make the most of your celebrations at home. Enjoy your VE Day party!
#VEDay75 #VEDayathome

Are you ready to dress 1940's style for your VE Day 75 celebrations? Enjoy some family fun making a rosette to accessori...
07/05/2020

Are you ready to dress 1940's style for your VE Day 75 celebrations? Enjoy some family fun making a rosette to accessorise your outfit!
https://bentleypriorymuseum.org.uk/wp/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/VE-Day-Dressing-Up.pdf
#veday75

Major General Edward Bailey Ashmore began his career in the Army before transferring to the RFC in 1914. A key individua...
07/05/2020

Major General Edward Bailey Ashmore began his career in the Army before transferring to the RFC in 1914. A key individual in London’s early air defence, Ashmore understood the importance of early aircraft detection.
In 1924, the first experiments were carried out to identify, track and report incoming aircraft. These proved successful and subsequently the Observer Corps was officially formed in 1925. Observation areas were formed in the south of England and in the 1930s these were expanded to cover a larger geographical area.
Crucial to detecting enemy aircraft flying over Britain, in 1941 the Observer Corps was granted Royal status.
#Remembering80Years #BoB80

Have you sorted a Party Menu for your VE Day 75 celebrations at home? Get the children involved in the planning and make...
06/05/2020

Have you sorted a Party Menu for your VE Day 75 celebrations at home? Get the children involved in the planning and make some ration recipes, including these Rock Cakes.
https://bentleypriorymuseum.org.uk/wp/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/VE-Day-75-Party-Menu.pdf
#VEDay75

Everyday this week we are adding a Bentley Priory Museum Volunteer memory to our VE Day 75 at Home page.https://bentleyp...
06/05/2020

Everyday this week we are adding a Bentley Priory Museum Volunteer memory to our VE Day 75 at Home page.
https://bentleypriorymuseum.org.uk/ve-day-75-at-home/
Why not take the time to share them with the young people in your life, to help them understand the importance of VE Day in 1945?
Today Beryl shares her memories:
https://bentleypriorymuseum.org.uk/wp/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/BPM-Volunteer-VE-Day-Memory-3.pdf
#VEDay75

Families can use this resource to reflect together on the significance of VE Day before we celebrate the 75th Anniversar...
06/05/2020

Families can use this resource to reflect together on the significance of VE Day before we celebrate the 75th Anniversary on 8th May. Remember the sacrifices made by the WW2 generation and write a message of thanks.
https://bentleypriorymuseum.org.uk/wp/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/VE-Day-Activity.pdf
#VEDay75

We are looking for volunteers for our new bunker project!The project will involve research, interviewing veterans and pe...
05/05/2020

We are looking for volunteers for our new bunker project!
The project will involve research, interviewing veterans and personnel who worked in the bunker, exhibition creation and assisting with school workshops and family activities. If you would like to be involved in all or some of this, and have an interest in history and heritage, then contact [email protected] for more information, or visit https://bentleypriorymuseum.org.uk/job-vacancies/

Among the stories of success and heroism of the Battle of Britain, are the stories which make you realise the realities ...
05/05/2020

Among the stories of success and heroism of the Battle of Britain, are the stories which make you realise the realities of war for these young men.
Pilot Officer Richard Ralph Hutley joined the RAFVR in 1938, and was called up in September 1939.
On the 26 October 1940 he joined 213 Squadron at Tangmere. Two days later Hutley wrote to his parents…
“I had quite a good journey down… a grand lot of chappies in my Squadron. I know one of them so it was not long before I settled down.
I saw about fifty yesterday but they were even more scared than I was so they went home.
Don’t worry life is very easy round here and yesterday was an exceptional day.”
Only the next day Hutley, age 22, was shot down and killed.
The nurse tending to him wrote to his mother a few days later…
“I was tending to him to the last, and we did all in our power to restore him.
I would like you to feel, as I do, that your son gave his life not only for his country, but also in saving those of us who are working on the Coast.
So often our pilots appear to take their burning ‘planes deliberately out to sea and then bale out, rather than crash on the houses, and in so doing, they run a much graver risk themselves.”
#Remembering80Years #BoB80

To mark VE Day 75 we invited our Museum Volunteers to share their own memories of 8th May 1945.Peter tells us: 'My fathe...
05/05/2020

To mark VE Day 75 we invited our Museum Volunteers to share their own memories of 8th May 1945.
Peter tells us: 'My father took me up to London and
it was just like the opening sequence of the Dowding film at the Museum. There were more American servicemen than those British, lots of flags waving and dancing in the streets.'
Read his recount here:https://bentleypriorymuseum.org.uk/wp/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/BPM-Volunteer-VE-Day-Memory-2.pdf
#VEDay75 #LestWeForget

Get the whole family making a piece of Bentley Priory Museum bunting to create a string of VE Day 75 ‘Great British Bunt...
04/05/2020

Get the whole family making a piece of Bentley Priory Museum bunting to create a string of VE Day 75 ‘Great British Bunting’. Display it in your window at home and help the whole community remember the 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe.
https://bentleypriorymuseum.org.uk/wp/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/BPM-VE-Day-75-Bunting-Template.pdf
#GreatBritishBunting #VEDay75

Happy Birthday Sir Archibald McIndoe! McIndoe was born in 1900 in New Zealand and went on to study medicine. He was enco...
04/05/2020

Happy Birthday Sir Archibald McIndoe! McIndoe was born in 1900 in New Zealand and went on to study medicine. He was encouraged to move to Britain to further develop his career, and so he uprooted his family and travelled to London.
In the 1930s he honed his skills as a plastic surgeon, working at St Bartholomew’s Hospital. In 1939, at the outbreak of war, there were only four experienced plastic surgeons in Britain. The government realised that their skills would be desperately needed to treat injured servicemen, and so created four plastic surgery units. McIndoe was asked to head up the unit at the Queen Victoria Hospital in East Grinstead where he would be dealing predominantly with RAF casualties.
McIndoe ensured that these badly injured men were supported emotionally and were able to reintegrate back into society. And so, in 1941, the Guinea Pig Club was formed for aircrew who had been burnt and had received treatment from McIndoe. There was a feeling of camaraderie on the ward and beer was freely available. Nurses were encouraged to socialise with the men and a number of members even ended up marrying nurses from the ward. McIndoe worked tirelessly to reintegrate the men back into society by involving the local community in his work. In 1947 Archibald McIndoe was awarded a knighthood for his dedication to his work.
By the end of the war there were 649 members of the Guinea Pig Club from different nationalities, and survivors and family members still keep in touch today.
#Remembering80Years #BoB80

As we prepare to mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day we invited our dedicated team of Museum Volunteers to share first-h...
04/05/2020

As we prepare to mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day we invited our dedicated team of Museum Volunteers to share first-hand memories of 8th May 1945.
Gerry tells us: ‘During the build up for VE Day, I used to go into the garden in the early hours to see our Bombers coming back from raids in Germany, many of them shot up and struggling to reach base.’ Read his recount here:
https://bentleypriorymuseum.org.uk/wp/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/BPM-Volunteer-VE-Day-Memory-1.pdf
#VEDay75 #LestWeForget

To commemorate VE Day 75, we’ve created a selection of resources and activities to help you enjoy celebrating at home. T...
04/05/2020

To commemorate VE Day 75, we’ve created a selection of resources and activities to help you enjoy celebrating at home. There’s all you need to plan your day, from bunting to ration recipes and we’ll be sharing some of our Museum Volunteer's memories to reflect on the importance of the occasion.
Bookmark our VE Day 75 at Home page as you prepare to join the nation in marking the 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe on Friday 8th May 2020.
https://bentleypriorymuseum.org.uk/ve-day-75-at-home/
#VEDay75

This weekend marks this year’s Polish Heritage Days where we celebrate Polish heritage in the UK.145 Polish men flew for...
01/05/2020

This weekend marks this year’s Polish Heritage Days where we celebrate Polish heritage in the UK.
145 Polish men flew for Britain during the Battle of Britain. These men had first fought in their home country before escaping to France and then Britain.
The majority of these men were deployed into RAF squadrons, but two Polish Squadrons were also formed: No. 302 (Polish) Fighter Squadron and No. 303 (Polish) Fighter Squadron.
Despite learning to fly British aircraft alongside considerable language barriers, these men proved themselves to be exceptionally capable and talented airmen. No. 303 Squadron was the most successful squadron of the Battle, shooting down 126 German aircraft in only 42 days. In Sir Hugh Dowding’s words, “Had it not been for the magnificent work of the Polish squadrons and their unsurpassed gallantry, I hesitate to say that the outcome of battle would have been the same”.
29 Polish pilots lost their lives during the Battle.
#PLHeritageDay #PolesinUK
#Remembering80Years #BoB80

Bentley Priory Museum has a wonderful team of dedicated volunteers, who support the Museum in a variety of different rol...
01/05/2020

Bentley Priory Museum has a wonderful team of dedicated volunteers, who support the Museum in a variety of different roles. As #NationalGardeningWeek comes to a close we would like to say a huge thank you to our Gardening Volunteers for helping maintain such a beautiful space.
https://bentleypriorymuseum.org.uk/volunteering/

As an independent Museum and registered charity, Bentley Priory Museum relies on income generated through admissions and...
30/04/2020

As an independent Museum and registered charity, Bentley Priory Museum relies on income generated through admissions and the generous support of individuals and organisations. If you would like to help us to continue to share one of the most important narratives of modern history – how the Battle of Britain was won, then you can make a donation:
https://bentleypriorymuseum.org.uk/donations-sponsorship/
#museumfromhome

The Roll of Honour is displayed in the Entrance Hall of Bentley Priory Museum.  It commemorates the pilots and aircrew w...
30/04/2020

The Roll of Honour is displayed in the Entrance Hall of Bentley Priory Museum. It commemorates the pilots and aircrew who lost their lives during the Battle of Britain in 1940, while carrying out operational duties for RAF Fighter Command. This particular edition was issued to honour the Battle of Britain’s 40th Anniversary, in 1980. https://bentleypriorymuseum.org.uk/bentley-priory-collection/roll-of-honour/
This year we will mark the 80th Anniversary. #remembering80years #museumfromhome

30/04/2020
Royal Air Force

Royal Air Force

Sound on! 🔊

Take a seat in the cockpit as a Hurricane and Spitfire of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (Official) perform today’s flypast in celebration of Col Tom Moore’s 100th Birthday.

Happy Birthday and thank you for all you have done to raise money for NHS Charities.

Read more: https://bit.ly/2WgYKeW

Our Museum mascot, Scramble the the dog, is bringing families Scramble School whilst we are closed! Bookmark our page fo...
30/04/2020

Our Museum mascot, Scramble the the dog, is bringing families Scramble School whilst we are closed! Bookmark our page for activities including fascinating facts, crafts and competitions:
https://bentleypriorymuseum.org.uk/families/activities-and-resources/
Have a go at colouring Scramble in - we'd love to know if you have a mascot too!
https://bentleypriorymuseum.org.uk/wp/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Scramble-Colouring.pdf
#museumfromhome #scrambleschool

The Battle of Britain Lace Panel is the largest artefact in the Museum’s collection. It is over one and a half metres wi...
30/04/2020

The Battle of Britain Lace Panel is the largest artefact in the Museum’s collection. It is over one and a half metres wide and some four meters high! Created to commemorate the Battle of Britain of 1940 it is full of imagery and symbolism of the period. It was given to RAF Bentley Priory to commemorate its role as Headquarters Fighter Command during the Battle. A scroll across the bottom contains Churchill’s iconic quote, “Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few”.
https://bentleypriorymuseum.org.uk/bentley-priory-collection/battle-of-britain-lace-panel/
#CultureinQuarantine #museumfromhome

On this day in 1968, Fighter Command was merged with Bomber Command to form Strike Command. During the Battle of Britain...
30/04/2020

On this day in 1968, Fighter Command was merged with Bomber Command to form Strike Command.
During the Battle of Britain, Bomber Command played a crucial role carrying out strategic bombing attacks on German fleets assembling in the Channel and enemy airfields.
Bomber Command suffered heavy casualties during the Battle - 718 men were lost.
#Remembering80Years #BoB80

Address

Mansion House Drive, Stanmore
London
HA7 3HT

Opening Hours

Monday 10:00 - 17:00
Wednesday 10:00 - 17:00
Friday 10:00 - 17:00
Saturday 10:00 - 17:00

Telephone

020 8950 5526

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Comments

As Air Vice Marshal Sir Trafford Leigh Mallory, on the balcony at Bentley Priory,
A very good day out in what is probably the most important place in British history, The Battle of Britain
A recent model kit I built of your old gate guard, LF751, now living at manston...
After loosing touch, I am sorry to report that Air Vice Marshal William "Paddy" Harbison, CB, CBE, AFC, FBIM passed away on December 25th 2018. He was promoted to Air Vice Marshal in January 1975 and shortly thereafter appointed commander of No. 11 Group RAF responsible for the air defence of the United Kingdom. Per Ardua Sir.
Many thanks to all at Bentley Priory Museum for welcoming the WW2 RAF GROUP Battle of Britain Emergency Operations Room display to such an important historical location. Our display, essentially explains and demonstrates sector level command and control in an entertaining way and it fitted in perfectly with your other displays today, especially the Observer Corps. There will no doubt be plenty of great photos with the public present, but this one was taken just after setup. We did struggle at times to fit everyone who wanted to see us into the room but it was an excellent day, hard work for us but it's nice to find such appreciative audiences.
From our archives at www.tippleston.com The Bentley Wood Football Team 1943/4 taken by my Grandfather Edgar Tippleston who was based there after returning from India.
Great visit today. Beautiful place, very informative and brilliant facilities including a brightly decorated cafe with great choice of food and drink.