Kent Battle of Britain Museum

Kent Battle of Britain Museum

Joined: February 28th, 2004, 3:00 pm

October 13th, 2010, 6:41 am #1

I took a visit down to the museum on Sunday, and fully recommend it to everyone if they can find the time. Its a relatively small collection, based in several buildings, and is effectively a private collection run by a handful of very dedicated people. They have some fantastic replica aircraft, vehicles, uniforms, weapons and other items, and have ambitious plans to expand too. We spent seven hours there, including an hour after it closed chatting to the owner Mike, and Dave who i'd guess is the principal manager.

They have many unique items, including TWO GQ Parasuits together, and also the only other ranks full dress tunic lve ever seen. My only slight critisism would be the amount of cases of fragments that have been recovered from digs, which could be spread a bit better, and interspersed with other displays.

But i would fully recommend the museum to all.
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Joined: June 14th, 2004, 6:31 am

October 13th, 2010, 1:27 pm #2

I agree, it is very interesting museum. We visited it during our travel to BoB weekend in Duxford in September. Only complain I have is ban on taking a photos and in the same time no possibility to buy some postcards with pictures from the exposition. I understand the reasons, explained on the poster in museum, but in such a case postcards would be, IMHO, the best way to give the people chance to remember the visit for a long time.

Michal "Mopic" Juran
No. 276 Sqdn. RAF (Reenacted)
http://www.europeanbattlefield.net/276/
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Joined: February 28th, 2004, 3:00 pm

October 13th, 2010, 2:09 pm #3

I agree Michal.

For those not aware, they dont allow photos in the museum, nor recording equipment of any kind (notebooks, camera phones etc). Whilst some might seem excessive, it was due in the main to the theft of an Me109 control column from the museum. Apparently, in talking to the Police, they advised no photos be allowed as it just gives potential thieves the means to study the way the display cases are constructed and thus can take measures to break into them.

I believe that at least one book about the museum is in preparation, which will feature images, although they also have plans to restructure the displays.

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Joined: July 21st, 2008, 7:16 pm

October 13th, 2010, 4:43 pm #4

I've said it many times on here before how good it is. My only criticism is that a vast majority of the RAF kit shown is reproduction. Take a closer look next time, and see if you can guess which!
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Joined: February 28th, 2004, 3:00 pm

October 13th, 2010, 7:03 pm #5

The only repro items are most of the type 19 mics, D masks and some of the B Types, plus some of the more elaborate German insignia. Had a long chat with the owner who explained where a lot of the rest came from, including a certain former flying gear collector with arguably one of the best collections seen anywhere.
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Joined: July 21st, 2008, 7:16 pm

October 13th, 2010, 7:41 pm #6


1932 pattern mae wests....d-mask oxy-hoses...

Who was that chap, Alex? I know that Paul French made a fair-amount of the kit IIRC.
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Joined: February 28th, 2004, 3:00 pm

October 13th, 2010, 9:04 pm #7

Ah yes, the oxy hoses, I included that with the masks/mics. But the vests that I saw (only about three) were all genuine. Of the other figures, two had Parasuits on, one a harnessuit, a groundcrew bod, an ATA pilot with overalls and a French pilot.

Paul French made some stuff, Steve Silburn the rest.
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Joined: April 22nd, 2004, 8:51 pm

October 13th, 2010, 9:25 pm #8

Such lovely people, visited earlier this year and when I saw something relating to 302 Sq I asked if I could take a photo, the answer was no-but the man said that the item was going to be cleaned later in the week and if I gave him my email address he'd photograph it out of the cabinet and email me the photos.
Really kind and I will definately go back.
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Joined: July 21st, 2008, 7:16 pm

October 14th, 2010, 2:16 pm #9


Alex, I am not meaning to be rude, but you are wrong. Of the vests on display in the main Kit-room, one of them is a repro made by Paul French (who made most of the type-19 mics, the d-masks, and the vests). Mike gave my Dad and I a tour of the museum, pointing out the repro items. I thought the vest was real, until Mike told us it was a repro. However, he was unsure, so there is a possibility it was a repro. Having said that, on close inspection, it had all the factors I'd associate with a Paul French Mae West so I think it was one.

It's a great musuem. I know that Hendon have been on at them for a while to sell one of their parasuits, but thankfully they won't/
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Joined: July 21st, 2008, 7:16 pm

October 14th, 2010, 2:38 pm #10

Such lovely people, visited earlier this year and when I saw something relating to 302 Sq I asked if I could take a photo, the answer was no-but the man said that the item was going to be cleaned later in the week and if I gave him my email address he'd photograph it out of the cabinet and email me the photos.
Really kind and I will definately go back.
Kate, may I ask what it was? My Mother's godfather was in 302 squadron.
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