Bentley Priory Museum’s Heritage Lottery Funded Exhibition Now Open

14 August 2017 | Pamela Linden

Bentley Priory Museum are delighted to welcome visitors to their new temporary exhibition, Dowding and WWI: The Making of a Commander. This volunteer-led exhibition has been funded by a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).

To coincide with the Centenary, the exhibition explores the WWI experiences of Royal Flying Corps pilot Hugh Dowding, and how his experiences shaped his convictions and leadership as Commander-in-Chief of Fighter Command during the Battle of Britain in 1940 – based at RAF Bentley Priory, Stanmore. Without Dowding’s leadership during the Battle of Britain, the outcome for Britain could have been very different, with Nazi invasion of Britain highly probable.

Alongside Dowding’s personal experiences, the changing role of aviation is also investigated. Once thought of as a ‘useless and expensive fad’, the exhibition charts the rise of air power and the rapid inter-war developments to aircraft.

Volunteers have been integral to the project; carrying out research and co-curating the temporary exhibition. Throughout the summer the Museum will running family activities, with WWI resources for schools launched in September.

Project Officer, Chloe Marley: ‘It’s fantastic that the Museum has been given the opportunity to explore Dowding’s experiences during WWI and linking these to his actions during WWII. Funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund has enabled us to recruit and support a team of excellent volunteers to develop a thought-provoking and engaging exhibition.’

Large print and Braille guides of the exhibition are available.

Opening Hours: Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays & Saturdays (10:00 – 16:00)

Address: Bentley Priory Museum, Mansion House Drive, Stanmore, HA7 3FB