Dimensions: 170cm high
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In the late 1930s, a Filter Room was created at RAF Bentley Priory to ‘filter’ the information coming from radar stations across the country.
The Filter Room has been recreated in one of Museum’s galleries, and highlights the important work carried out by ‘The Many’, those working on the ground to support the aircrew in the skies. This included many women working in the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force, also known as the ‘WAAF’.
The high ceiling enabled the creation of a wooden balcony overlooking the middle of the room, where there is a table displaying a large map of Britain. This shows the locations of the radar stations positioned along Britain’s coastline. The balcony is constructed of pale, untreated wood and supported by metal scaffolding poles, suggesting that the room was put up in haste.
Standing high on the makeshift balcony, overlooking the large map, stands a model of Flight Sergeant Gladys Eva. Gladys worked at RAF Bentley Priory before and during the Battle of Britain.
The model is life-size and made of resin with a bronze finish. Gladys is dressed in a WAAF uniform of skirt, shirt, tie and jacket, and is wearing a headset with headphones covering her ears and a chest microphone, which is cone shaped and hangs around her neck. The model is looking down onto the map and her face is portrayed with a look of concentration. On reflecting on her work in the Filter Room, Gladys Eva noted, “We knew it was highly important. Accuracy, speed – they were the things that were absolutely vital. And you couldn’t make a mistake”.
The Women’s Auxiliary Air Force was formed in 1939 to support the Royal Air Force (RAF). Women were integrated into the RAF in 1994.