RAF Biggin Hill is close to the hearts of many an old boy from Cray Valley and although the station closed in 1992 St George’s Chapel with its famous replicas of the Spitfire and Hurricane remain a landmark and lasting tribute to The Few. The gates to the chapel and gardens of remembrance are currently chained nut!
Read more about the ‘distressing plans’ for the chapel inflicted by the London Borough of Bromley and perhaps sign the petition by clicking HERE.
John Willis Comments
These are the comments from John Willis a lifelong user of Biggin Hill who is currently abroad and has asked me to post this as he is unable to do so at present for technical reasons:
A lot of people are up in arms at the design of the Heritage Museum to be located at the
Chapel. But unfortunately a lot of these same people are the ones who wasted 10 years and countless
millions of pounds arguing the toss over where the museum should be and who should run it…
I agree it is not the best design (in fact I think it looks crap!) but – it has got the funding secured for the
build and the future of the actual chapel is secured long term as a result. The only part that is being
demolished is the more recently added vestry alongside the chapel.
I believe that Biggin Hill needs this museum, and always has. It would have had one years ago if the
different factions had come together and agreed a common route to the end product goal. As it was –
in-squabbling and politics saw loads of money raised being wasted whilst they all fought to be “in charge” of the future project.
The charity formed to protect the future of the chapel have raised the funding and got council and lottery funding secured and the council’s support for the design (which the council accepted) and the build is about to start. So, this way Biggin Hill WILL get a museum, which it deserves of course!
The current battle by a few stalwarts who don’t agree with the design, is typical of what has happened
before – and all that it will achieve is to prevent the museum ever happening. The secured funding would
be withdrawn, and the end result of opposition will be to see the whole project shelved yet again while
everyone fights for their own ideas – the net result is Biggin Hill gets nothing!!
And – if the museum is stopped, and the funding lost, then I believe the very future of the beautiful St
George’s Chapel will be placed at risk.
So – what I am saying is – I agree it is a crap design – but at the end of the day – Biggin Hill WILL get its
museum and the future of the chapel will be secured for the long term. After all is said and done – isn’t that what we all want? The design is somewhat irrelevant, if we get what has always been wanted for Biggin Hill – something, is surely better than nothing – isn’t it?
The Closing of RAF Biggin Hill
In a previous life I was proud to be commissioned (by the LBB) to create a film on the closure of RAF Biggin Hill. This now rests in the archives of the Imperial War Museum and for those who have not already seen it before (November 2016) it can be viewed below. (Unfortunately the final part is missing along with the credits).