Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Visitor Centre Review, 2020
I had the opportunity to visit the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Visitor Centre and undertake a tour of the Flight’s Hangar at RAF Coningsby on my way to represent the Society at an event at NELSAM on 15 August 2020. The Visitor Centre is run by Lincolnshire Council and you can book tours in advance through https://www.lincolnshire.gov.uk/history-heritage/battle-britain-memorial-flight-visitor-centre.
Due to the current pandemic the tours are much smaller and conducted by volunteer guides. The tours are conducted on one side of the hangar so photography and content is largely focused on the aircraft parked there which does limit things but understandable given the restrictions on an active RAF station. Highlights included cutaways of machine guns and canons fitted to RAF Second World War aircraft and associated ammunition which illustrated the developments over time and the damage that was inflicted on enemy aircraft and aircrew. The opportunity to view the aircraft close-up was a delight and hopefully shown in the accompanying images. The Visitor Centre contained displays and models relating to the history of the RAF with an extensive shop and snacks.
I think it would be beneficial to have the Visitor Centre dedicated to telling the story of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight and associated aircraft and personnel that would give context to the tour. With the tour it would be beneficial if participants could be given access to both sides of the hangar with safeguards in relation to security but would certainly enhance the experience to visitors. Overall I really enjoyed the experience with particular the close access to Spitfire P7350 and would thoroughly recommend members booking a tour.