RAF heritage centre fundraising to turn chapel into new home

Ian Brown, curator at RAF Sculthorpe Heritage Centre has started a fundraiser to buy the airfield's chapel

Ian Brown, curator at RAF Sculthorpe Heritage Centre has started a fundraiser to buy the airfield's chapel to make it the new home. - Credit: RSHC

An RAF heritage centre which recently welcomed the Queen is hoping to move into a new home.

RAF Sculthorpe Heritage Centre started fundraising on March 12 to move into the original airfield chapel, located just yards from its current home in the Wicken Green centre, having outgrown it.

The centre, which is still celebrating a visit from Her Majesty, believes the chapel is the best building on the site, and the need has increased following the recent demolition of the base's control tower earlier this month.

Ian Brown, who runs RAF Sculthorpe Heritage Centre, meets The Queen

Ian Brown, who runs RAF Sculthorpe Heritage Centre (RSHC), said he was humbled and honoured after taking the Queen on a personal guided tour - Credit: Kevin.J.Osman /RAF Sculthorpe Heritage Centre

The building is owned by a private landlord, with the aim to raise £30,000 to purchase the chapel and to carry out the renovation work. The centre has also received offers from local businesses offering help.

Ian Brown, the curator at the centre, said: “A lot of local people are connected with the base and for me, the chapel would be the perfect place to carry on our work.

“It is just sitting there at the moment, and it holds a lot of importance. We have Americans come over and tell us their parents were married there. Plus, it played a part in the Hunstanton flood memorial.

The original airfield chapel during a memorial service for the Hunstanton floods.

The original airfield chapel during a memorial service for the Hunstanton floods. - Credit: RSHC

“The building is one of the last on-site which was constructed as part of the very heavy bomber conversion between 1944 and 1946.

“We’ve always wanted to have a building we could call our own. We have a lot of exciting things in place, but we just need that building to start looking ahead.”

Most Read

The chapel is not its only hope for a new home, having been offered land on Wicken Green to build - but Mr Brown wants a building with strong links to the airbase’s past.

RAF Sculthorpe Heritage Centre started fundraising on March 12 to move into the original airfield chapel.

RAF Sculthorpe Heritage Centre started fundraising on March 12 to move into the original airfield chapel, located just yards away from its current home. - Credit: RSHC

The curator also believes the recent success of the base shows that it is something worth saving.

“We really do need any support people can give to help us build on what has already been a fantastic start to this year with the model show being a huge success and of course the privilege of Her Majesty, The Queen paying us a private visit,” he added.

“We must be doing something right if the Queen comes to visit.

“To those who say that everything needs to be saved, here is your chance to help us make that happen.”

You can donate to the heritage centre by going to  https://gofund.me/1cd10781

RAF Sculthorpe Heritage Centre started fundraising on March 12 to move into the original airfield chapel.

RAF Sculthorpe Heritage Centre started fundraising on March 12 to move into the original airfield chapel, located just yards away from its current home. - Credit: RSHC