Wartime museum project boosted by fund of more than £80,000

Evesham Journal: Bill Richardson of the Severn Waste Fund with Bob Shaw and Dennis Williams of Defford Airfield Heritage Group celebrating by the model of RAF Defford airfield. Bill Richardson of the Severn Waste Fund with Bob Shaw and Dennis Williams of Defford Airfield Heritage Group celebrating by the model of RAF Defford airfield.

THE war-changing efforts of one of the most secret places in the country will be the focus of a new museum.

Defford Airfield Heritage Group and the National Trust at Croome have received £82,900 from the Heritage Lottery Fund to boost the project dedicated to the the people who lived and worked at RAF Defford, near Pershore, in the Second World War.

The wartime museum will sit inside a newly-restored section of Croome’s visitor centre, the Decontamination Annexe which was rescued from dereliction by the Severn Waste Environmental Fund

Dr Dennis Williams, the museum’s newly appointed custodian, said: “We’re incredibly pleased that the Heritage Lottery Fund has decided to award our project the funding we need to create a fantastic experience for Croome’s visitors.

“We have been working on the bid this year and it’s been a lot of hard work, but we’re delighted that our efforts have been fruitful.”

Dr Williams, a member of the Defford Airfield Heritage Group, added: “The museum will provide a way of engaging people in what the Air Force was really like in wartime Worcestershire and we’re all looking forward to getting the work started.”

The new museum will be home to special facilities designed to present an imaginative and stimulating experience for visitors to Croome and will promote further understanding of the war-changing efforts of the workforce at RAF Defford.

One of the most secret places in the country; new radar inventions were developed, tested and installed in aircraft at RAF Defford in the 1940s and the museum will tell the story of the airfield, the development of radar and the 2,500 people who worked there.

It is hoped the museum will be open by the end of September.

An outreach and education programme is an essential part of the project, enabling the story of RAF Defford to be shared with local groups, societies, schools, colleges and universities.

The project will also create a wide range of volunteer roles at Croome to set up and run the museum, carry out historical research, and assist with activities.

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