Header image: Smart new retractable belt barriers in the BBMF hangar, one of the recent BBMF improvements paid for by the RAF Memorial Flight Official Club. (Photo: Clive Rowley)
Club members will be pleased to know that money raised by the membership of the RAF Memorial Flight Official Club has funded a number of recent projects directly supporting the BBMF.
The BBMF is a supported Royal Air Force unit funded by the Ministry of Defence (MoD), so the maintenance of the Flight’s aircraft is paid for from the ‘public purse’ and private funds cannot be used for that purpose. However, when it comes to other aspects of the BBMF’s activities and operations, particularly relating to the working environment, the quality of life for BBMF personnel at work, and the hosting of the very many visitors to the Flight including VIPs and wartime veterans, the ‘public purse’ is not so generous. Many projects that would improve these aspects will not generally be paid for by the MoD and it is here that funds raised by the Club have benefited the BBMF enormously.
In recent weeks, with money from the Official Club, the BBMF has been able to complete several projects around the Flight’s building, directly improving the working environment and also creating a smarter and more professional impression for the many official visitors to the Flight.
The Flight has been reorganising its HQ accommodation and a very smart glass separator wall embossed with the BBMF badge has repurposed the operations and planning room. The Official Club has made a contribution to the glass wall, which was largely paid for by the Lincolnshire’s Lancaster Association.
In the BBMF hangar the unimpressive and worn out yellow plastic cones and plank barriers that greeted 30,000 visitors each year on guided tours with the BBMF Visitor Centre have been replaced with new retractable belt barriers along the length of the hangar, purchased with funds from the Official Club. These new barriers are far less obtrusive, much smarter looking and are easier to move.
On the airfield side of the BBMF building, the direction from which VIPs and official visitors usually approach the BBMF, the tired and worn out BBMF sign on the outside wall has been replaced with two large stainless steel cut-outs of the BBMF badge, laser cut from stainless steel using computer aided design (CAD), mounted over both sets of entrance doors. These have been purchased using Club funds and have immediately improved the look and presentation of the BBMF building.
In addition, the signs along the corridor inside the BBMF HQ, which help visitors to the Flight to find their way to the correct room, have been updated with metal silhouette cut-outs of BBMF aircraft with the name of the room painted on it. These have also been paid for by the Club.
Last and by no means least the BBMF personnel have benefited from a brand new set of kitchen units with built-in fridge and dishwasher in the Flight’s crew room, purchased with funds from the Club and installed on a self-help basis by the BBMF ground crew themselves.
In total, Club funds have donated £6,700 to the recent BBMF projects. None of these things would have been possible without the money raised by membership of the RAF Memorial Flight Official Club and all have created a sense of pride in belonging to the Flight and have improved the BBMF environment. The BBMF is extremely grateful to the Official Club members for their support.