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Donations welcome for Biggin Hill Memorial Museum
The Biggin Hill Memorial Museum Trust have welcomed a donation from the Orpington and District Caledonian Society (ODCS) to St George’s Chapel.
The news follows final approval being given by the council’s Executive last month for construction of the Biggin Hill Memorial Museum to start later this year, with the Museum opening next year, 100 years after the end of the First World War. The society generously gave £500 to support the Biggin Hill Memorial Museum Trust in its work to bring about the long awaited museum.
Built in 1951 using funds raised from the nation, the Grade II listed St George’s RAF Chapel of Remembrance will remain free to visit, with extended visiting hours. It will be a lasting memorial to the people of Biggin Hill who gave their lives during the Second World War. The museum plans, which ensure the chapel’s future, are supported by Historic England and include the removal of the side annex constructed in 1990, which will restore the chapel it to its original 1950s design. By surrounding the chapel in the style of a garden wall or cloisters, the Museum will both act as visual frame for the chapel and symbolically also in protection.
President, Angela House said, “We were first inspired to support the museum project after our members attended 'Serenade for The Few', a musical concert held at the chapel last year. The society is pleased to support this very worthy cause and we look forward to visiting the new museum when it opens next year.”
Councillor Benington, Museum Trustee said, “The Trust is extremely grateful to the society for their donation and support of The Biggin Hill Memorial Museum. Whilst the endowment fund provides a level of financial security, our fundraising campaign is continuing so that when the museum opens next year, we can properly tell the story that remembers the Few and honours the Many.”
Construction work on the £5.325m project will start later this year following a successful Heritage Lottery (HLF) award of £2m, with the HLF describing the plans as ‘exemplary’. As well as including the construction and exhibition fit out costs, the funding also includes a £1.5m endowment fund to support the future management of the museum. The council will continue to work in partnership with the Biggin Hill Memorial Museum Trust who is responsible for the future of the museum.
Biggin Hill Memorial Museum team are hosting a series of free events over the next few months, for more information visit our website: http://www.bhmm.org.uk/ .