Page 10 - Hunstanton Town & Around - March 2014
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10 Hunstanton Town & Around March 2014                                  Tel: 01485 533422 email: editor@townandaround.net
       R.A.F. BIRCHAM NEWTON [1918 – 1962] RNLI Fish and Chip Lunch

       AND ITS ‘HERITAGE CENTRE’                           Friday 21st March, Sedgeford Village Hall 10.30am
                                                           Tickets £12.00.  Phone Terry Morris 01485 512005
       ROYAL AIR FORCE Bircham Newton has a proud history of 44 years of  Speaker:  Charlotte Paton author of ‘The King of the
       service spanning two world wars and involving more than 80 operational
       units.                                              Norfolk Poachers: his life and times.’
        A bomber base from 1918 until 1936, RAF Bircham Newton  was the  Don’t miss the chance to hear Charlotte discuss her book on Frederik
       home of many iconic aircraft, including the Handley Page V/1500,  DH9A,  Rolfe, the famous early 20th century poacher in rural Norfolk.  Rolfe’s
       Fairey IIIF, Fairey Gordon, Hawker Hind and the Hawker Hart.  reputation is surrounded by as much hearsay as truth. He left behind
        In 1936, the station was transferred to Coastal Command, and served in  him a trail of broken laws, broken hearts and a complex family tree
       that command throughout the Second World War.   It became one of the  which took years to unravel.
       most important airfields along the east coast, performing reconnaissance,  Charlotte is as tenacious as her subject and has left no stone unturned
       anti-shipping and air-sea rescue operations across the North Sea.  Satellite  in her hunt for the truth. She consulted court archives, birth, marriage
       airfields were opened in Docking and Langham to accommodate the  and death registers, and tracked down the people who still remember
       increased number of operations required to support the war.  A large variety  Fred as well as the surviving members of his family. This has allowed
       of planes flew from the station’s grass runways, including the Avro Anson,  her book to become an enlightening background to the lives of the rural
       Bristol Blenheim, Lockheed Hudson and the Vickers Wellington.   poor and the ways of a poacher around Fred’s lifetime.
        From 1948, the station was transferred to Technical Training Command  It is the biography of a difficult and unreliable man who came to an
       and hosted various training schools which were amalgamated to become  unexpected and tragic end. You will want to dislike him, but instead
       the RAF School of Administration and the Equipment Officers’ School. In  you may suddenly find yourself willing him to win.
       1959, the Administrative Apprentices School was located at the station until  Charlotte is an engaging speaker and it promises to be one of our
       closure in December 1962.  The station experienced a brief return to flying  best talks to date.
       in the mid ‘60s when it supported the trials of the Hawker Siddeley Kestrel  Don’t forget to bring ketchup, vinegar, salt and pepper and your own
       V/STOL aircraft.                                    utensils.   You may also bring a bottle or two!
        After closure, the site was acquired by the Construction Industry Training
       Board (CITB), where it continues to carry on its highly successful operation
       to this day, occupying many of the original RAF buildings.  CITB very 3rd Hunstanton Brownies
       generously provides the accommodation for the Heritage Centre.  Sue Richardson
        The RAF Bircham Newton Memorial Project (a registered charity) was
       established in 2005 to commemorate the distinguished history of the airfield  3rd Hunstanton Brownies have started working towards their Big
       and to preserve its memories into the future.   Permanent memorials are  Brownie Birthday Challenge badge. The badge uses events from the
       now in place at both this site and near Docking (Sunderland Farm).   The  100 year history of Brownies to inspire challenges for the girls.
       three rooms of the Heritage Centre are situated in this building, formerly
       the Commanding Officer’s residence.  Visitors to the Centre can see an
       eclectic mix of memorabilia, relating not only to RAF Bircham Newton
       and its personnel but also to other associated areas of interest.   In 2014
       visitors will see new displays relating to World War 1 and also an exciting
       new collection of die-cast model aircraft.   Books and miscellaneous gifts
       will also be on sale.   Further details about RAF Bircham Newton and the
       Heritage Centre can be found on our website: http://www.rafbnmp.org.uk












                                                             We recently held a 'Brownie take over' meeting, the girls were the
                                                           leaders and the 4 leaders formed a new 'six'. The girls took charge of
                                                           games, activities and refreshments, as well as giving out letters and
                                                           awarding points for good behaviour. As leaders we were very well
                                                           behaved (most of the time!) and the girls showed good leadership and
                                                           teamwork skills.

       Open Days for 2014 are:   Easter [20 & 21 April], Early May Bank Holiday  St Mary’s Flower Festival presents:
       [4 & 5 May], Late May Bank Holiday [25 & 26 May], Sunday June 29,  THE VILLAGE QUIZ
       Sunday July 27, August Bank Holiday [24 & 25 August] and Sunday 28  Friday 28th March.
       September.   Special arrangements for group visits outside the scheduled
       programme can be arranged by prior contact with Denise Goff MBE  Cottage Pie Supper 6pm, Quiz 7pm
       [01485 578527] or Avril MacArthur [01485 578588].            Social Club, Old Hunstanton
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