Life-sized outlines of fighter-planes to honour Kenley Airfield RAF heroes
Two life-size aircraft outlines of a Supermarine Spitfire and Hawker Hurricane have been added to RAF Kenley Airfield – the most intact fighter airfield from World War II.
This new display at the airfield’s tribute blast pen showcases the site’s important Battle of Britain history and centenary as part of the Kenley Revival Project. As the UK’s most complete surviving Battle of Britain fighter airfield, Kenley gives a direct and tangible link to the UK’s aviation past.
The Project, which is a partnership between the City of London Corporation, Kenley Airfield Friends Group, Historic England and made possible by National Lottery players, aims to preserve and protect the heritage of the airfield, which played a unique and important role in defending Britain from the German Luftwaffe.
From Spring 2019, the historic aircraft outlines will be accompanied by 10 steel Hurricane and Spitfire wings spanning up to 2.3m.
Visitors’ workshops, pop-up museums, aircraft inspections, events and guided tours have been launched by the Kenley Revival Project (ww.kenleyrevival.org).
The programme showcases the history of RAF Kenley, it’s involvement in the Battle of Britain and the people that served at Kenley during World War I and World War II.
Philip Woodhouse, Chairman of the City of London Corporation’s City Commons Committee, said:
“We are re-connecting people with RAF Kenley’s important history and linking the generations so that the memories are preserved forever.
“These life-sized aircraft outlines are a spectacular addition celebrating Kenley Airfield’s rich aviation heritage and undeniable contribution towards the victory for the British armed forces during World War II.”
During the Second World War, RAF Kenley was one of the three main fighter stations (Kenley, Croydon and Biggin Hill) responsible for the air defence of London. During the Battle of Britain, these three RAF stations became prominent because of their role in defending London against Nazi German fighter planes.
The City of London Corporation and its partners in the Kenley Revival Project secured £880,000 of National Lottery funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) in September 2015. Together with money raised by Kenley Airfield Friends Group and others, the total funding amounts to over £1.1m.
Stuart Hobley, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund London, said:
“Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players we’re pleased to support this project which, in the year we mark the Centenary of the RAF, is reviving Kenley Airfield and revealing the fascinating stories it holds about our aviation heritage.”
Alan Morgan, Chairman of the Kenley Airfield Friends Group, said:
“Kenley played a pivotal role in winning the Battle of Britain and thus preventing a German invasion in 1940.
“As the best preserved Battle of Britain fighter station and with an outstanding history since 1917, Kenley is a unique and important part of Britain's heritage.”
The City of London Corporation manages the adjoining Kenley Common, and over 11,000 acres of green space in London and south east England. It aims to fulfil its historic role as the steward of the unique heritage of the Square Mile and beyond, recognising the importance of heritage to the UK’s national life and identity.
Its green spaces, which include Hampstead Heath and Epping Forest, are run at little or no cost to the communities that they serve. They are funded by over £29million a year from the City of London Corporation, together with donations, sponsorship, grants and income generated on site.
Kenley Revival Project welcomes any volunteers who believe in preserving and protecting the most intact fighter airfield from World War II. Several roles are available; contribute to their website, assist with delivering talks, help run workshops and lead guided tours.
For more details about the Kenley Revival Project and to stay updated on future news and events, sign up to the newsletter and visit the website at www.kenleyrevival.org .
Notes to editors
About the City of London Corporation:
The City of London Corporation is the governing body of the Square Mile dedicated to a vibrant and thriving City, supporting a diverse and sustainable London within a globally-successful UK. www.cityoflondon.gov.uk
The 18 green spaces run by the City of London Corporation are:
1. Hampstead Heath
2. Highgate Wood
3. Golders Hill Park
4. Queen’s Park
5. Epping Forest
6. Wanstead Flats
7. Wanstead Park
8. City of London Cemetery and Crematorium
9. West Ham Park
10. Burnham Beeches
11. Stoke Common
12. Ashtead Common
13. Coulsdon Common
14. Farthing Downs
15. Kenley Common
17. Spring Park
18. West Wickham Common
19. Over 200 small green spaces in the City of London