News (2010)

Autumn 2010 Gazette

October 14th, 2010

The latest all colour edition of ‘Friends of The Few’ has gone out to Museum Club members. Contents include:

  • Story of the Castle Farm Dornier
  • Report and pictures from the Ruxley Manor event
  • Schnellbomber News – developments for further restoration
  • What it took to be a Stuka pilot
  • Poignant reflection upon the sacrifices made by ‘The Many’
  • Reports about various Battle of Britain commemorative events
  • Museum news and activities
  • Battle of Britain competition for great prizes
Autumn 2010 Gazette

Visit by Peter Ayerst & Harold Bennett

September 30th, 2010

The Museum was very pleased to warmly welcome two wonderful RAF fighter pilot veterans on a chilly Sunday 26th September 2010. Both Wing Commander Peter Ayerst DFC and Warrant Officer Harold Bennett delighted visitors with tales of their flying experiences and happily signed items to help raise monies for the Pilot Memorials Project.

Peter Ayerst

Peter is well known for his exploits with 73 Squadron during the Battle of France and his varied wartime career culminated as a test pilot for Vickers flying Spitfires, much of which is recounted in his book ‘Spirit of the Blue’.

Harold Bennett

Harold saw operational service with 603 ‘City of Edinburgh’ Squadron on cross-Channel sweeps during 1941 before he was shot down over France and taken prisoner. He remained a ‘guest’ of the Germans for the remainder of the war.

At the end of an enjoyable day, both Peter and Harold took turns to pick the winning tickets for the Museum 2010 raffle. The 1st Prize winning ticket was Yellow 488. Is that lucky winner you?

Shoreham Aircraft Museum Day at Ruxley Manor Garden Centre

September 2nd, 2010

After a week of heavy rain, Saturday 28th August 2010 dawned with much better weather and the event kicked-off as planned at 11:00 AM in time to receive and welcome a great mass of visitors and happily the day remained busy right through to the close of the event at 4:00 PM.

Ruxley Manor

The stars of the event were our wonderful veterans and attending were RAF pilots Tony Iveson, Rodney Scrase, Harold Bennett, Peter Hill, Jack Hodges and Ron Pottinger; joining them was ex-SOE member Harry Verlander. Other added attractions for visitors included a fantastic replica Spitfire from the ‘Simply Spitfire Team’, who raised monies by allowing visitors to put on an Irvin jacket, leather flying helmet and goggles and have their picture taken with the Spitfire.

Ruxley Manor

There were many superb Hot Rods courtesy of the Detonators Car Club and other private owners of classic vehicles that included Willy’s Jeeps and motorcycles.

Ruxley Manor

Big thanks goes to our wonderful veterans for being so supportive to our fund-raising cause and we also thank everyone who helped on the day to make it enjoyable for all and a fantastic sum was raised towards the Museums Pilot Memorials Project. Much appreciation is extended to the Ruxley Manor Garden Centre and the very helpful staff for being such excellent and generous hosts.

Ruxley Manor
Ruxley Manor

Commemorative print

August 19th, 2010

This brand new aviation print by Geoff Nutkins to commemorate the 70th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain will be launched at Ruxley Manor on Saturday 28th August 2010. “Local Hero” depicts Sergeant Trevor Oldfield of No.92 Squadron in combat during the morning of 27th September 1940. Later that same day this young RAF pilot was shot down and killed at Hesketh Park, Dartford. Eyewitnesses recalled how the 21 year old pilot tried heroically to miss the houses as his Spitfire fell to earth.

Local Hero Print

A memorial stone in Trevor’s memory was laid by the Shoreham Aircraft Museum in Hesketh Park in 2007.

The new print, signed by all pilots present at Ruxley on Saturday 28th of August, will be available on the day for £47.50.

All proceeds go towards the Museum’s ongoing Memorials Project.

Ron Pottinger – Typhoons & Tempests

July 16th, 2010

On a lovely, hot and sunny Sunday 4th July 2010, the Museum was very pleased to welcome RAF veteran fighter pilot Ron Pottinger and his wife Joy as guests for the day. Ron kindly signed items for visitors along with selling signed copies of his terrific book ‘A View From The Office’, detailing his Army days and RAF flying experiences.

Ron was joined during the day by our young RAF re-enactor Callum and enjoyed some banter about “Wizard prangs!”

Ron and Callum

Shoreham ‘twins’ with Dover!

June 24th, 2010

In partnership with the Dover War Memorial Project, the Museum has loaned some Battle of Britain related relics for display in the Dover Public Library.


Added to the display are accounts of some of Dover’s ‘Few’, including Pilot Officer Keith Gillman and Sergeant Pilot David Kirton.


To find out more about the Dover War Memorial Project, or if you have stories or personal experiences of wartime Dover and its war heroes, then please visit the website at

Summer 2010 Gazette

June 24th, 2010

The latest all colour edition of ‘Friends of The Few’ has gone out to Museum Club members. Contents include:

  • Tribute to the late ‘Stapme’ Stapleton
  • Poignant account of a letter written by the widow of one of ‘The Few’
  • Schnellbomber News – the cockpit ‘takes pride of place’
  • ‘The Rocketeer’ – Sgt Pigden takes part in the first rocket strike on land
  • Picture montage of the Museum pilot signing event
  • Visit to the Museum by ex-Luftwaffe ‘ace’ Hans-Ekkehard Bob
  • A small boys recollection of a Battle of Britain incident
  • Museum news and activities
Summer 2010 Gazette

Harry Verlander – My war in SOE

May 4th, 2010

The Museum was very pleased to welcome Harry Verlander to Shoreham on Sunday 2nd May 2010. Despite the awful weather, it didn’t dampen Harry’s enthusiasm or that of visitors keen to meet him and to purchase signed copies of his brilliant book ‘My War in SOE’.

Harry Verlander

Signing up to the Army in 1942 even though he was underage, Harry volunteered for the Special Forces and went on to serve behind enemy lines in Occupied France alongside the French Resistance and also in the jungles of Burma in bloody and terrifying hand-to-hand combat.

Having previously not been allowed to talk of his wartime experiences, Harry’s remarkable and brave story as a member of the Special Operations Executive is one deserving to be known by a wide audience.

It is hoped that Harry will visit Shoreham again soon, so please check back for any news of another book signing date.

Pilot Signing Day 11th April 2010

April 14th, 2010

The Museum was pleased to welcome 9 wonderful veteran pilots for the signing event and the very dear gentlemen attending were, Peter Ayerst, Nigel Rose, Tony Iveson, Rodney Scrase, Jimmy Corbin, Richard Jones, Paul Farnes, Bill Green and Peter Brown.

Signing Event

Eager signature hunter-gatherers queued early, and nearing the start time the queue of visitors keen to meet the pilots grew ever longer and happily after a dull start on the weather front, the sun came out to play to help warm up proceedings.

Throughout the morning session the queue to see the pilots and have treasured prints, books, etc signed continued to grow. As an added treat for visitors, the terrific Biggin Hill based ‘Kent Spitfire’ performed an evocative and spirited display in a clear blue sky over the Museum to delight all on the ground.

Signing Event

After a break for lunch the afternoon session continued to see a steady stream of visitors wishing to say “Hello!” to the pilots. As the event drew to a close, everyone could reflect back on a glorious and successful day. A massive vote of thanks goes to the pilots for all their hard work and tireless enthusiasm in greeting visitors both young and old. For all who attended, it was a great privilege to be in the company of some of ‘The Few’ in this special 70th anniversary year of theBattle of Britain.

Museum opens its doors for 2010

April 8th, 2010

The Easter weekend saw the Museum open for the 2010 season with a bigger layout courtesy of the new extension, along with new exhibits and attractions. The long hours of hard work over the closed winter period proved worthwhile with many favourable comments from both new and our regular visitors.

Cockpit and Model

One main highlight is the relocation of the Schnellbomber cockpit section into the new extension along with a large scale model of a Junkers Ju88 to compliment the main exhibit.

The Teagarden has also seen new changes with more of the garden being made accessible for visitors to enjoy and relax in.

Spring 2010 Gazette

June 24th, 2010

The latest all colour edition of ‘Friends of The Few’ has gone out to Museum Club members. Contents include:

  • Tribute to the late Bob Doe
  • Schnellbomber News – the cockpit ‘takes to the air’
  • Article remembering others who did their bit in the Battle of Britain
  • Story of the ‘Unknown Aviator’
  • Schnellbomber Tale – ‘Two for Tea!’
  • Museum news and activities
Spring 2010 Gazette

Museum Signing Event

March 16th, 2010

We are delighted to announce that to help ‘kick-off’ the new open season there will be a wonderful signing event at the Museum on Sunday 11th April 2010, starting at 10:30am.

There will be a break for lunch from 12:30pm to 1:30pm and the event is expected to finish at about 4pm. The cost for getting items signed (maximum 3 items at any one time) will be £20 per item for all signatures or £10 per item for single signatures. All proceeds from the event go towards Museum projects.

Confirmed attendees are:

  • Tom Neil
  • Bill Green
  • Nigel Rose
  • Rodney Scrase
  • Peter Brown
  • Jimmy Corbin
  • Richard Jones
  • Paul Farnes
  • Tony Iveson
  • Peter Ayerst
  • Heinz Radlauer
  • Erich Schmidt

More info on our Signing Days page.