Latest news from the RAF Drem Collection
WAAF Mess Update
Public reaction following a local press release has been most positive, with offers
of a variety of items. Amongst these have been a World War Two period upright piano, and
several offers of 1930s/40s domestic radios. We also hope to have on loan correct RAF and WAAF
uniforms and mannequins on which to display them. Two military gas masks , in superb
condition with original haversacks, will add to the wartime ambience. The room set,
which will represent a corner of the WAAF Mess, should hopefully be open to the public by Easter.
A new attraction is being set up near to the main exhibition. This is a cinema unit, originally
constructed for the use of the Museum of Childhood in Edinburgh, and latterly by the Museum of Flight
at East Fortune. It was made by Ian Rintoul, film maker, and incorporates a miniature cinema foyer
and balcony, the actual cinema screen being a small TV. The unit has interior lights, and is a most
atmospheric piece, capturing the feeling of the cinema in the 1930s and 1940s. Peripheral displays
include miniature posters of wartime films - particularly those with an aviation connection.
Additionally there are six plush seats, originally from the Edinburgh Odeon cinema. These will soon be in
place, and the unit fully operational. Ian Rintoul, who produced the film "Hour of the Eagle", about
the first air raid on Britain during World War Two, will kindly be providing a programme of films on DVD for
screening in the unit. We are most grateful to Ian for providing this attraction, and to
Jim Anderson who transported it to Fenton Barns.
Recent additions to the Collection include a very early altimeter, probably 1920s but possibly even World
War One period. An Air Ministry signal lamp, complete in original transport/storage box, and a
large horizontal cockpit compass have also been received in the last couple of weeks.
Visitor numbers were good with the run up to Christmas, with 1,277 being counted through the doors
in December. The Gallery was closed between Christmas and New Year, opening again on January 3rd.
A traditionally quiet month, January saw a drop in figures to 605, but these are increasing rapidly
again this month. With better local awareness of the Collection, and steady publicity, our
aim is to welcome an average of 1,000 visitors per month throughout the year.
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