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About the Society

The Robertsbridge Aviation Society is a non-profit making organisation, run entirely by volunteers with the sole aim of catering for the interests of the aviation enthusiast, preserving local aviation history and aviation history in general.

The Society’s founder members were members of the Royal Observer Corps (ROC) which played a vital role during the Battle of Britain monitoring aircraft movements across the South of England. These founder members wanted to join with non ROC members in order to enhance their aircraft recognition skills. The Society was originally called the Robertsbridge Aircraft Recognition Society and would hold meetings in member’s homes.

As Society member numbers increased meetings were held at Robertsbridge Scout hut, and eventually in 1973 the Society found a more permanent home at Bush Barn. It was at this time that the Society changed its name to the Robertsbridge Aviation Society to reflect the wider scope of activities and interests that the members embraced.

In the early 1970’s members became interested in the then new hobby of aviation archaeology and recovered a Spitfire which crashed near Bodiam, shortly followed by a Hurricane which crashed near Newenden. The artefacts were cleaned and formed the nucleus of a museum. As interest in preserving aviation archaeology grew, so did the interest in collecting aircraft parts and related material. Today the museum is housed in six nissen huts at Bush Barn.

The Museum

The collection was founded in 1973 and includes many exhibits covering civil and military aviation, both past and present with the Second World War featuring prominently.

Exhibits include artefacts recovered from local World War 2 crash sites and coastal areas, 40 aero engines including the Rolls Royce Merlin, Napier Sabre, Bristol Hercules and Proteus, Rolls Royce Avon and Conway, display cases featuring the First World War, Battle of Britain, flying clothing and equipment, the Home Front, civil aviation, the Royal Observer Cops, the United States Eighth Air Force and special displays dedicated to former society presidents Peter Latham and Eric ‘Winkle’ Brown.

Many other exhibits including propellers, gun turrets, instruments and models are also displayed.

The museum also displays cockpit sections from a Meteor T7, Sea Vixen FAW 1, English Electric Lightning and Canberra and Hunting Percival Jet Provost

Principal Activities

Society membership is open to anyone with an interest in aviation, civil or military, past or present. We can cater for a wide range of activities from conservation and preservation work, visits to other organisations, photography, air band radio, historical research, model making and aircraft recognition.

General meetings are held on alternate Monday evenings throughout the year from 8:00pm until 10:00pm. Meetings generally consist of a fun aircraft recognition test followed by a film or slides and conversation about our hobby. The occasional speaker is also arranged.

We are non-profit making organisation, which means we rely on membership fees, public donations and fund raising activities for finance. Throughout the year we hold a series of fund raising events such as coffee mornings, a book sale, jumble sales and raffles.

An annual Open Day is held the last Sunday in July for the public to sample Society activities. The museum collection is open and there are exhibitions of art, model aircraft, photography and a working air band radio station.

HOW TO FIND US

Bush Barn is located by the A21, just north of the historic village of Robertsbridge. The entrance is between two sharp corners on a steep section of Silver Hill. The museum is signposted during open days and events.

Robertsbridge Aviation Society
Bush Barn
Silver Hill
Robertsbridge
East Sussex
TN32 5PA

 

Photo credit: Tony Calvert (tonycalvertphoto.com)

News

LATEST NEWS

Work has just started on the cockpit section of Lightning XP701. Member Clive Hammond was a Lightning technician in the RAF and worked on this airframe whilst serving. The cockpit section has been located outside our headquarters for many years now and has become a bit of a landmark. It has always been the museums …

KENT AND EAST SUSSEX RAILWAY 1940’S WEEKEND Over the weekend of 18th and 19th May we took some items from the museum to display at the K&ESR 1940’s weekend at Bodiam station. The main display area is at Tenterden station however there are displays of varying sizes at each of the stations down the line to Bodiam. There are a lot of uniformed folk, vehicles both military and civil, home front displays and a Spitfire flying display each day during which the aircraft follows a train before displaying at Tenterden and Bodiam. It was thoroughly enjoyable weekend and we had lots of interest in the Society and museum. Thanks to Robert, Rose, Glenys, Roy Jane and Trevor for manning the stall.

TORNADO CANOPY

The museum is now open again for the 2019 Season and is open the last Sunday of every month until October, We are also able to open by appointment for individuals and groups. Contact us for details. Over the Winter we have been busy around the museum site maintaining grounds and buildings, and we have …

Diary Dates

DIARY DATES 2019

January – G/M 14th Workday 26th              (Note – G/M – General Meeting)

February – G/M 11th Committee Meeting 16th AGM 25th Workday 9th

March – G/M 11th Workday 23rd Museum Open 31st

April – GM 8th Workday 27th Committee Meeting 6th Museum 28th

COFFEE MORNING AND SPRING RAFFLE 13th APRIL

May – G/M 20th Workday 18th Museum 26th

JUMBLE SALE 11th MAY

June – G/M 3rd 17th Committee Meeting 8th Workday 22nd

MUSEUM OPEN AND BOOK SALE 30th JUNE

July – G/M 1st 15th 29th Workday 13th  Museum 28th

ANNUAL OPEN DAY 28th JULY

August – G/M 12th  26th Committee Meeting 17th Workday 10th

Museum 25th

September – G/M 9th 23rd Workday 7th Museum 29th

JUMBLE SALE 14th SEPTEMBER

October – G/M 7th 21st Committee Meeting 19th Workday 12th

Museum 27th

November – G/M 18th Workday 9th

December – G/M 16th Workday 7th

CHRISTMAS PARTY 21st DECEMBER

Event Times

Workday’s 9:00am start
Museum 2:30pm until 5pm

(PLEASE NOTE – MUSEUM CLOSED NOVEMBER TO FEBRUARY)

Open Day 11am until 5pm
Christmas Party from 2pm
Committee Meetings 11am start
General Meetings from 8pm
Coffee Morning 10am until 1pm
Jumble Sale 2pm until 4pm
Book Sale 11am until 5pm

WE LOOK FORWARD TO SEEING YOU AT THE MUSEUM

Photo Gallery

lightning f3 xp701
ENGLISH ELECTRIC LIGHTNING F3 XP701


The museum with Lightning F3 XP701 and Bristol Proteous engine


Meteor T7 WA630


Wreckage from Lancaster BIII LM650

Contact

Roberstbridge Aviation Society Chairman

Roy Chrismas

Tel: 01580 880 712

Roberstbridge Aviation Society General Secretary and Museum Manager

Trevor Woodgate

Tel: 01304 239 711

Membership

Family * £17.50

Adult £15.00

Friend ** £8.00

Junior (under 18) £8.50

* Family membership comprises a maximum of two adults and two children under 18
** Friend membership is intended only for those who cannot attend meetings or Society activities but who would like to support the Society and keep in touch