Hillingdon Libraries respond with passion and pride to 70th anniversary of the Battle of Britain

By Culture24 Staff | 10 September 2010 | Updated: 10 September 2009
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a photo of a group of airmen walking towards the camera in front of an RAF Hurricane fighter
Polish Battle of Britain pilots of the famous 303 Squadron based at RAF Northolt
As home to No 11 Group RAF the London Borough of Hillingdon was very much at the heart of the Battle of Britain. Fighter stations RAF Northolt, which was the operational base of the famous Polish 303 Squadron (above) and Uxbridge, home to 11 Group Headquarters at Northolt House, were both located in the borough. 

Today, the underground operations bunker at Uxbridge is preserved exactly as it was in 1940 as a museum, but for the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Britain, Hillingdon's libraries have been hosting a series of special events at all of the borough's 17 sites.  

Libraries from Northwood and Uxbridge to Ickenham and Ruislip have organised exhibitions, film shows, coffee mornings, dances and living history talks given by service veterans and civilians who experienced the war.

a photo of an operations room with people looking around it
The Battle of Britain Ops Room at RAF Uxbridge is now a private museum open by appointment© Ian Mansfield
Battle of Britain artefacts loaned by the RAF are on display at Uxbridge Library from September 12 until October 29 and with events and displays also taking place in the council's Compass Theatre and the historic Manor Farm Site, the Library service is promising "something for residents and visitors of all ages to experience and enjoy".

"The Battle of Britain marked a very important period in this country's history and Hillingdon played an unique part in the allied war effort, with RAF Uxbridge and Northolt holding strategically important positions," said Cllr Henry Higgins, Cabinet Member for Culture, Sport and Leisure.

"Hillingdon is rightly proud of its role and I hope that as many residents as possible come and take part in the events throughout the borough."

For more information including the Family Fun Day at Ruislip Lido on September 18, which is being held to raise money for the RAF Benevolent Fund, see Culture24 listings or visit the council's website at www.hillingdon.gov.uk/battleofbritain

Keep up to speed with the latest news about the Battle of Britain 70th anniversary at www.culture24.org.uk/battle-of-britain
More on the venues and organisations we've mentioned: