Once again the RAF Memorial Flight Official Club has provided some very practical and direct support to the BBMF in recent weeks by funding a number of projects for the Flight. These were all items that would not be funded by the Ministry of Defence, which will make the work of the Flight easier and improve the appearance of the BBMF building and its surrounds for the very many people, including VIPs, who visit the Flight via the RAF Station at Coningsby every year.
The first of these projects was the purchase, entirely paid for by funds from the Official Club, of a ride-on lawn mower. The large grassed area on the airfield side of the BBMF hangar and HQ building extends to over an acre. Previously it was being cut by BBMF personnel with a push mower; an extremely time-consuming process. With the generous assistance of RBM Agricultural Ltd at Market Weighton, and John Deere tractors, the Flight was able to purchase a John Deere X380 ride-on lawn mower at virtually cost price. The Official Club provided the £4,412 needed for the purchase. The grass outside the BBMF buildings can now be cut regularly, in double quick time.
An internal reorganisation of the BBMF HQ has now been completed to relocate the engineers at the same end of the building as BBMF Operations, making for a much more efficient and effective set up. The room now used as the technical library needed new high density compact mobile shelving to store the very many technical engineering publications, some of them original documents, which support the maintenance of the BBMF aircraft. The Official Club has paid the £6,720 needed to fund the purchase of the new mobile shelving racks which are mounted on rollers and rails and can be moved along by winding a handle. This may not be the most glamorous or photogenic of projects, but it is an essential asset for the BBMF engineers.
The Club had previously paid for two large stainless steel BBMF badges mounted above the entrances to the BBMF HQ. These are now complemented by a laminated aluminium composite material artwork, on the brickwork of the BBMF HQ building, which displays the full title of the BBMF with cut-outs of a Lancaster, Hurricane and Spitfire and World War Two aircrew above it. The cost of this work – £1,405 – was funded by the Official Club. The artwork looks splendid, really improving the appearance of the exterior of the BBMF building and there are future plans to have it lit by a downlight.
In total, Club funds have donated £12,537 to these recent BBMF projects. None of these things would have been possible without the money raised by membership of the RAF Memorial Flight Official Club and all have created a sense of pride in belonging to the Flight and have improved the BBMF environment. With several projects for the BBMF funded by the Official Club earlier this year (covered in detail in another news item) costing £6,700, the Club has now spent over £19,000 this year in direct support of the Flight. The BBMF is extremely grateful to the Official Club members for their continued support.