Hillingdon Council has unveiled its new Battle of Britain Bunker Exhibition and Visitor Centre.
The civic ceremony precedes the public opening on 30 March 2018. The exhibition was opened by Leader of the Council, Cllr Ray Puddifoot MBE.
The Battle of Britain Bunker, and those who staffed it, played a crucial role in the air defence of the United Kingdom throughout the Second World War and the new visitor centre tells the story for the first time through an interactive exhibition. The new displays include full size replica aircraft, original artefacts, wartime footage and oral histories. For those who cannot take the tour down into the original bunker, the visitor centre also has a full size replica of the original plotting table map as part of a 360 degree touch screen experience.
Hillingdon Council became custodians of the Battle of Britain Bunker in 2016, taking over responsibility from the Ministry of Defence. The council secured £1 million pounds in government funding to carry out essential repairs to the bunker.
Cllr Ray Puddifoot said: “Hillingdon Council is proud of the borough’s RAF heritage and we regard it as both an honour and a privilege to now be custodians of the Battle of Britain Bunker which was, a few years ago, in danger of closure.
“To ensure that the bunker could both be kept open and its historic significance remembered, understood and enjoyed for generations to come, we provided funding of £6 million to build this state-of-the art Exhibition and Visitors’ Centre.”
Boris Johnson, MP for Uxbridge and South Ruislip, also present at the event, said: “This is an absolute triumph for Hillingdon council. I am just bowled over by the beautiful job they have done and it far exceeds my expectations. It’s a new facility for the borough and a great new visitor destination for London.”