News (2019)

A wonderful 'Wooden Wonder' pilot

April 28th, 2019

It was a delight on Easter Sunday for Shoreham to welcome Flight Lieutenant Colin Bell DFC, AE, who not only kindly signed items for visitors but also shared many amazing tales from his RAF days, especially his operational experiences flying the magnificent de Havilland Mosquito with The Pathfinders of 608 ‘North Riding’ Squadron from Downham Market. He carried out 50 operations over Germany that included 13 raids on Berlin. Notwithstanding how good the Spitfire was with its Rolls-Royce Merlin engine, Colin loved the fact that with a Merlin powered twin-engined Mosquito, he was essentially flying 'two' Spitfires – he maintains that he owed his survival in the air to the 'Wooden Wonder'.

Flight Lieutenant Colin Bell DFC, AE

Den Layell – a real gentleman from a great generation

February 7th, 2019

It was with heartfelt sadness that the Museum recently learnt that a long-standing Friend and keen supporter passed away. Den Layell was one of our unsung heroes who was incredibly generous in his donations, especially towards the successful Local RAF Memorials Project and despite failing health it was a great joy to see Den attending the last memorial unveiling in September 2018.


As a young Londoner, Den became an evacuee during the Second World War and he held RAF Battle of Britain fighter pilots especially in high regard all his life, hence his keen support of the memorials. Den also never forgot his experiences as an evacuee and he was always happy to share his stories and as a member of ‘The Evacuees Reunion Association’ (now called ‘The British Evacuees Association) Den often gave interesting talks to the public.

Just like the wartime veterans who served and sacrificed so much, Den was from a wonderful generation who helped to keep the ‘great’ in Great Britain. They will forever be missed.