Tangmere special programme marks 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain

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TANGMERE Military Aviation Museum has organised a talks, films and live satellite event to mark the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain.

In a joint venture with Chichester Cinema at New Park, the museum will present a five-day programme focusing on the importance of RAF Tangmere during the period.

Setting the scene for the unique programme is an illustrated talk on Tangmere’s Battle of Britain Pilots, to be given by museum curator David Coxon.

The talk will be given in the Neville Duke Hall at the museum at 10am and 2pm on Monday, September 14, and Tuesday, September 15, with 40 spaces available each time. Tickets are £10 and the talk will be followed by a guided tour of the museum to see the important artefacts connected to the conflict.

An exciting double bill takes place the following day, Wednesday, September 16, at 5.30pm at the New Park Cinema, with a showing of the classic 1969 film Battle of Britain, starring Laurence Olivier, Michael Caine and Christopher Plummer. The film will be followed by a talk entitled 16th August 1940 – A Critical Day for Tangmere and Fighter Command, which will give local relevance to the Battle of Britain and the day when the RAF station changed forever, with buildings damaged or destroyed following very accurate bombing. This talk will be presented by museum director Dudley Hooley and tickets cost £8.

Classic film Angels One Five will be shown at the New Park Cinema Studio at 4.30pm on Thursday, September 17.

The film is said to be a more accurate representation of what happened in the Battle of Britain and some of the actors were in fact pilots who had taken part in the Battle of Britain.

The film will be followed by a question and answer session, hosted by Mr Hooley, with Selsey veteran Joe Roddis, who was a Hurricane squadron engine fitter during the battle.

Mr Roddis has the unique perspective of living through those unpredictable days and brings his knowledge to this special event. Tickets are £6.

The final event on the programme is on Friday, September 18, in the main auditorium at New Park Cinema at 7.30pm, with Battle of Britain at 75 shown live by satellite from Biggin Hill.

The epic story of the greatest aerial conflict of the Second World War will be brought by BBC Radio 2 for a live cinema experience with Friday Night is Music Night.

There will be an opportunity to talk to the museum curator after the event and ask questions.

Eight Squadrons were based at RAF Tangmere, and its satellite station at RAF Westhampnett, over the period of the Battle of Britain, of which seven were Hurricane squadrons and one a Spitfire squadron.

Tickets for all events are available only at New Park Cinema. For full details, visit www.tangmere-museum.org.uk or call the box office on 01243 786650.

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