Saturday 25 May – Saturday 1 June [Open every day, except Sunday 26 May]
Artist-In-Residence: Mark Postlethwaite
Monday 27 May – Saturday 1 June.
Families can contribute to a new artwork by aviation artist Mark Postlethwaite,
who will be painting at the Museum.
Battle of Britain Veteran Archie McInnes plans to join Mark on Saturday 1 June at 12.00 to sell and sign copies of his new book Against Adversity.
Friday Morning Talk: Painting Our Heroes, by Mark Postlethwaite
Friday 31 May, 11am.
Mark will talk about some of the highlights of his thirty years of painting aircraft and demonstrate his approach to painting.
Places for Mark Postlethwaite’s talk can be booked in advance by visiting our What’s On page.
Family Activities: Junior Artists in Residence
Saturday 25 May – Saturday 1 June [except Sunday 26 May], 11am – 3pm.
Create your own Battle of Britain inspired artwork at easels across the galleries and gardens [weather permitting].
Drop in activity, no pre-booking required.
All activities are included in Museum admission and Annual Membership.
Alternatively, a £5 donation can be made to attend the talk only.
We have been informed by family of WAAF veteran Vera Organ that Vera has passed away. Vera is pictured above when she visited the Museum in 2015 for an event commemorating the 75th anniversary of the Fighter Control Association.
Vera Organ joined the WAAF in 1941 when she was just 21 years old. Vera was posted to RAF Bentley Priory early on in her WAAF career and spent 8 months working as a Plotter in the Filter Room.
Vera later moved to Rudloe Manor where she worked as a Teller. This was particularly busy work as they were plotting shipping as well as aircraft and she was working there during events in the war, including the D-Day landings.
When interviewed about her time at RAF Bentley Priory, Vera recalls that they would only be allowed in to the mansion house when they were “on a charge”, in other words reprimanded. This means that Vera did not enter the house until 2013, when she was invited here as a Veteran.
Vera is pictured below, standing to the right of HRH The Duchess of Cornwall, at the opening of Bentley Priory Museum in September 2013, also attended by HRH Prince Charles and WAAF veterans.
Love history? Passionate about engaging people of all ages?
Or perhaps you’re green-fingered or simply mad about scrumptious cakes!
Whatever you enjoy, we have a volunteering opportunity for you!
Volunteering is a great way to get involved with your local community, make new friends, learn new skills and develop your passion!
Come along to the Museum on Thursday 7th March 2019 to meet our volunteers and find out what volunteering at Bentley Priory Museum is all about!
We are running a morning (11am-1pm) and an afternoon (1pm-3pm) drop in session, click here to book your place now!
Volunteer opportunities available include:
- Family Activities Volunteer
- Garden Volunteer
- Hospitality Volunteer in our popular vintage cafe
- Reception Volunteer
- Room Steward
- Schools Volunteer
- Tour Guide
We have been informed by The Association of RAF Fighter Control Officers that veteran Joan Fanshawe passed away at the end of December whilst visiting family in New Zealand. Joan is pictured above with Group Captain Tim Willbond and Chief of the Air Staff, ACM Sir Stephen Hillier at event at Bentley Priory Museum in April 2017.
Joan Fanshawe was a Clerk Special Duties and was one of the first WAAF personnel to be employed on duties in the Dowding System. Her first tour was at HQ 11 Group where she was employed as an Operations Room plotter from July 1940 to January 1942; this period covered both the Battle of Britain and the Blitz. Joan was on duty on the morning of the 15th September 1940 and witnessed Churchill’s visit on that momentous day.
In January 1942 she was commissioned as an Assistant Section Officer. On D-day she was serving at the Sector Operations Centre at Tangmere from where squadrons were controlled until they crossed the French coast.
Joan is pictured below, on the right-hand side, with TRH Prince Charles and The Duchess of Cornwall and fellow WAAF veterans at the opening of Bentley Priory Museum in September 2013.
Please note: The Museum will be closed from Monday 17th December 2018 and will reopen on Monday 21st January 2019.
We’re delighted to be hosting another concert from the Tonic Choir on 10th November 2018.
To find out more about the concert and how to buy tickets, please visit our What’s On page.
Tickets are now on sale for ‘Time Flies: A Celebration of 100 Years of the RAF ‘ – a RAF Royal Gala at the Theatre Royal on Drury Lane on Sunday 7 October 2018.
‘Time Flies’ will tell the story of the formation of the RAF in 1918 to present day, through song, dance, poetry and film.
Among the names announced for this one-off spectacular show are the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra, the D-Day Darlings, Pixie Lott and Sir Ben Kingsley.
Proceeds from the Royal Gala will support 5 charities: The Battle of Britain Memorial Trust, RAF 100 Appeal, the RAF Music Charitable Trust, The Polish Airmen’s Association and Bentley Priory Museum.
Tickets are available from the Theatre Royal’s website.
We will be open on Sundays throughout September 2018.
September is traditionally the month in which the Battle of Britain is commemorated. To mark this, we will be open every Sunday in September 2018.
- Sunday 2nd September
- Sunday 9th September
- Sunday 16th September
- Sunday 23rd September
- Sunday 30th September
Standard opening hours and admission charges apply.
The family of former WAAF Elisabeth Stewart (nee Brewster) have informed us that Elisabeth sadly passed away at the end of 2017.
Elisabeth joined the WAAF in 1940 when she was just 18 years old and was posted to RAF Bentley Priory early on in her career. Whilst based at RAF Bentley Priory, Elisabeth worked as an Operations Room Plotter. She remembered that they were often joined by senior officers watching them from the balcony above and on occasion, Winston Churchill would also be observing.
In December 1944, Elisabeth was the first to hear the message that Glenn Miller’s plane had gone missing. Just four months earlier Glenn Miller and his band had played at RAF Bentley Priory.
Later, Elisabeth was commisioned as a Codes and Cipher Officer and was posted to the Orkneys. There she met her future husband who was serving in the army. Their daughter went on to join the WRAF.
When sharing memories of her time in the WAAF with us, Elisabeth noted that there was “a great sense of community and belonging”.
The RAF 100 Baton Relay team were welcomed to Bentley Priory Museum on 2 April by the Mayor of Harrow, MP Bob Blackman and a cheering crowd of over 200 Museum visitors. Arriving by bicycle, the baton team had cycled from the RAF Museum in Hendon on the second day of their 100 day baton relay to significant RAF related sites across the country. The baton was received by Museum volunteer, John Tracey, on behalf of the team of volunteers who keep the Museum running.
Bentley Priory Museum was the baton’s only stop in Harrow, acknowledging the important role of RAF Bentley Priory, particularly during the Battle of Britain in 1940.
Museum Director, Eleanor Pulfer-Sharma: “We are proud to be able to tell some of the Royal Air Force’s important history within our Museum and were delighted to welcome the RAF 100 baton team to the Museum as part of the national celebrations of the RAF’s centenary. The RAF 100 baton’s visit to the Museum launched the Museum’s own centenary celebrations, which include a temporary exhibition on the RAF’s technical innovation & a new concert ‘Flying without Feathers’ by Tonic Choir in April & May.”
After leaving Bentley Priory Museum, the baton team visited the Battle of Britain Bunker in Uxbridge.