A small permanent RAF Drem Collection and Exhibition is open to the public (free admission) under the auspices of the Arts & Crafts Gallery, at Fenton Barns Retail Village, on the site of the airfield. The buildings that house the gallery were originally built by the Air Ministry in the late 1930s in anticipation of World War Two. The main gallery, where the exhibition is located, was the Women's Auxiliary Air Force's dining area and sergeants' mess. The adjacent buildings included their shower and decontamination block.
The exhibition at Fenton Barns has been open since July 2003, and features a growing collection of interesting artefacts, photographs and maps relating to the airfield and surrounding area. The nucleus of the exhibition is displayed atmospherically in a small room reminiscent of a command centre, the walls being shrouded by an old military parachute canopy. Many local residents have generously come forward with items and photographs for display. Exhibits may be donated or placed on loan, and when displayed, are properly acknowledged to their donors. In addition to items specific to Drem, more general items such as RAF uniforms and equipment are also sought for inclusion in future projects. One of these is to recreate part of the WAAF Mess.
It is expected that the Collection will continue to grow and the exhibition hopefully become a significant attraction in East Lothian. The Collection has already become firmly established in these past few months, and met with enthusiastic praise from visitors.
The majority of funding for the Collection comes from public donations, however our supreme gratitude goes to Priscilla and Morton of the Arts & Crafts Gallery at Fenton Barns, without whom the Collection would have no home, and the Exhibition would never have existed.
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