IN THE YEAR of the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Britain, Sir Richard Branson narrates the podcast on Battle of Britain ace Douglas Bader, on the centenary of the pilot’s birthday.
ON THE 70TH anniversary of the Battle of Britain and the centenary of the birth of former Battle of Britain pilot, Douglas Bader, RAF Museum London’s February podcast is narrated by aviation entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson.
The podcast was commissioned to mark the centenary of Bader’s birth on 21st February 2010 and forms part of the museum’s commemoration of the former Battle of Britain pilot. It examines the life of Douglas Bader from his near fatal air crash in 1931 – with the loss of both his legs at the knee – through his Second World War service as one of the highest scoring aces in the Battle of Britain and his subsequent efforts to escape from German captivity after being shot down and captured in August 1941.
To listen to the podcast, visit www.rafmuseum.org/podcasts.
There’s also a small exhibition, running to 31 March, of Bader artifacts, including his log book and, of course, you can visit the Battle of Britain Hall at Hendon, which has a large collection of aircraft that fought in the world’s first decisive air battle.
On a lighter note, the RAF Museum also featured in the last series of Strictly Come Dancing (BBC Worldwide’s hit ballroom dance competition also shown as Dancing with the Stars) in a segment where the Lindy Hop was demonstrated. The routine, named after Charles Lindbergh’s Atlantic Crossing in 1927, was danced by Ryan Francois and Jenny Thomas, resident dancers of the show, at the museum. The Lindy Hop was one of the four dances that the two couples, Chris Hollins and Ola Jordan, and Ricky Whittle and Natalie Lowe, tackled in the final episode, before Jordan and Hollins went on to scoop the trophy.
The RAF Museum London is based on the site of the former Hendon aerodrome and displays 100s of historic aircraft. It has a sister museum at Cosford in Shropshire, which houses many more aircraft and is also home of the National Cold War Exhibition – a fascinating place to learn more about the decades following the Second World War. For information on both museums, go to www.rafmuseum.org.uk.