7,400 sign petition urging Bromley council to rethink Biggin Hill museum plans

By Luke King in Community News

MORE than 7,400 people have signed a petition calling on Bromley council to rethink plans for a memorial museum attached to the St George’s Chapel of Remembrance in Main Road, Biggin Hill.

The council has given planning permission for a scheme advanced by the Biggin Hill Memorial Museum Trust, which proposes “a purpose built, single storey museum” to “frame the historic chapel”.

But the trust’s plans, which include demolishing the vestry to “allow the original design of the Grade II listed 1951 Chapel to be once again revealed”, have been met with resistance by the local community.

Rita Radford, who started the petition, said: “The early signatories were mostly local, but since then it’s been snowballing. People from all over the country have signed, even from abroad, though foreign signatories have been discounted.

“The general feeling is that this is an inappropriate, unsympathetic design. Even the son of ex air vice marshal Harold Bird-Wilson, who flew in 11 group during the Battle of Britain, often from Biggin Hill, contacted us to say that his father would be horrified at the proposals.”

David Evans, Rita’s partner, added: “There are so many reasons why this is wrong. Some groups are worried about it continuing as a living church, others about the loss of the vestry.

“There are people who have been fighting for a museum in Biggin Hill for 30 years and they just don’t like the design. Most people think it’s a characterless toilet block.”

To read Rita’s petition, see https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/protect-biggin-hill-st-george-s-raf-chapel-of-remembrance

A Bromley council spokesman said: “The petition was received by the council on July 11 and is in the process of being verified. Depending on the outcome of the verification, in line with the council’s policy, the petitioner could be invited to speak at a council committee meeting.”

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Rita Radford · 2 days ago · Report

Anti-Luddite, Haven't you heard, if a thing is worth doing. its worth doing well. Especially when its done with millions of pounds of public money! Oh, by the way the petition is now up to 7770, I think you are by yourself mate!

Anti-Luddite · 4 days ago · Report

How I agree with 'Biggin Hill Girl'! For goodness sake why don't the self-appointed guardians of taste and what's good for Biggin Hill give it a rest! If it was up to them we'd still be like vying in weekend holiday shacks. Let's get on with it before we all join the heroes of the Battle of Britain in the afterl-life without getting it built!

Colin Pascoe · 5 days ago · Report

Having been a resident of Biggin Hill for 70 years I am one of the many that want a memorial museum at the airfield but if this proposal by Bromley Council is the best they can come up with, I would rather have no museum than this monstrosity. The vestry which they want to demolish is at least in keeping with the main Chapel.

Rita Radford · 7 days ago · Report

Thank goodness for an independent press who are prepared to print information that can be verified. Bromley Council's initial publicity for their damaging plans for the Chapel was so low-key that many in the Borough are still in ignorance, yet this is of national and international importance! If they are genuinely proud of this stark, unsympathetic design, even condemned by other professionals, why is it not the 'header' picture on their Trust webpage, instead of the iconic Chapel as it is?

Graham - a Biggin Hill supporter · 9 days ago · Report

I suggest we have a competition to 'spot the good point' in the current museum design - but only open to those in their right mind!

Museum Esthetics · 9 days ago · Report

Why was £236,000 spent on this unedifying 'architecture', when it could have been offered to local schools as a competition prize-winning design, to be judged by local residents and veterans as honouring the legacy of Biggin Hill?

John · 9 days ago · Report

Do not engulf our unique RAF Chapel of Remembrance. Respect and honour the lives of those who died and gave all living today our freedom. Listen and LEAVE OUR HERITAGE CHAPEL ALONE.

Vaderfone · 9 days ago · Report

I am so very, very, impressed by the Memorial Museum Trust's fantastic design. The whole essence of our tradition of dumping on ex-servicemen is so perfectly captured by this memorial toilet. I'm certain that the whole world will sit up in awe of this stunning design. Worth every penny of it's oh so reasonable £236,000 design fees.

Biggin Hill Girl · 9 days ago · Report

The same names come up every time there is change in Biggin Hill - the swimming pool, the library, the airport opening hours. None of them do not live here! 7400 people have been lied to in the petition. It's misleading, misquoted and not based on true facts. This 'action group' has been formed purely to promote Rita Radford and David Evans's own publicity campaign! Go start campaigning about the new proposed hotel and let the people of Biggin Hill build their much wanted museum!

BHFOF Trustee · 10 days ago · Report

I wonder how many would have signed if those behind this had told the truth, yes I am calling them liars because even today people in the picture used in this article arrived at the chapel to meet the trust foe another consultation meeting saying they had been duped into attending this morning for a protest picture. Their latest quote is to describe the project as like a German death camp. This project will at last deliver the long awaited museum that RAF Biggin Hill deserves

Robert Badger · 10 days ago · Report


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