Appeal for support to build new education building at Spitfire and Hurricane Memorial Museum

The Spitfire and Hurricane museum team have taken on an ambitious project to create a new building at the site

The Spitfire and Hurricane Memorial Museum at Manston is appealing for support of its plans to expand the site.

Plans are to create a new building which will house a classroom for school visits and a dedicated area for artefact storage with space to carry out conservation and restoration work on items held in the museum collection.

This will also free up space within the museum for new displays.

The museum charity needs to raise around £150,000 to carry out the project and the team is hoping people will donate to its fundraiser which was launched earlier this year to help with the costs.

Museum chairman Simon Collins said: “The Museum is a registered charity offering free access for all to a unique site housing a Supermarine Spitfire Mk XVI and a Hawker Hurricane IIC.

“In addition to the aircraft, we house a large collection of objects, uniforms and artefacts which tell the story of the Royal Air Force at war and life on the Home Front.  We also maintain an Allied Air Force Memorial Garden in remembrance of those who made the ultimate sacrifice during the conflict. This is a place offering quiet reflection in pleasant surroundings.”

The Museum was founded in 1981 by the Royal Air Force to house ‘The Manston Spitfire’ which had served as the station ‘gate-guardian’ aircraft since 1955. The building was funded by donations from the community.

NEW BASE: January 1981-and TB 752 is carefully pushed into her new housing. There was very little room to spare.. Photo  David  Keep.

In 1988 a further gallery building was erected to house the Hawker Hurricane IIC and this was again’ funded by donations from the community. Since then, the administration and storage facilities have been housed in a portacabin that was provided by the Royal Air Force.

The Museum is staffed almost entirely by volunteers from all walks of life.  They staff the gift shop, look after the Memorial Garden and grounds, maintain the collection and displays, and instruct on the Spitfire simulator.  All funds to run and maintain the Museum are raised by donations, purchases from the gift shop and by customers who fly in the Spitfire simulator.

Mr Collins said: “Since 2018 ‘The Manston Spitfire Experience’ Spitfire simulator in the Spitfire Hall has proved successful in terms of fundraising and providing a way for the museum to meaningfully engage with visitors including the Air Training Corps and local Scout Groups.

“However, the space occupied by the Simulator previously facilitated school visits and these have therefore become difficult to accommodate since its introduction.

“We are currently planning another ambitious project in the form of the extension to the museum building to replace the portacabin with a larger permanent building.  This new building will include an education space so that we can better accommodate the needs of local schools when they visit us and also benefit local community groups.

Plans for education space at the Spitfire and Hurricane Memorial Museum

“We anticipate our building project will cost somewhere in the region of £150,000. Whilst it is an ambitious project, we feel we have a duty to develop the concept of an education space to further our community engagement, the education of the general public and to remain a focal point for remembrance and reconciliation in years to come.

“A donation of 8,000 bricks has been pledged by H.G. Matthews of Chesham Buckinghamshire, who have been making traditional handmade bricks since 1923”

Find the fundraising page here

A potted history of The Spitfire & Hurricane Memorial Museum


  1. with all the millions that are being wasted opposite , why not use some of it to look after our own people for a change – but thats never going to happen is it .come back nigel we need you

    • Come back Nigel?! You sad, deluded little person. Nigel is not, nor ever was a saviour for Thanet, Kent or the UK. He is a self-serving far right agitator. The Coke Zero equivalent of Himmler.

      I don’t blame you for being fooled by him. He preys on the weak-minded and vulnerable.

        • Nigel talks nonsense and bile, just like you. You like him because he appeals to tragic, middle-aged, disgruntled islanders. I don’t blame you for believing the lie. You never stood a chance.

          • I’ve met him several times. I’ve sat next to him at dinner. He, like the majority of his ilk, has a veneer of respectability about him. It is what enables him to appeal to people such as yourself. But, like Ikea furniture, if you peel off that thin, cheap veneer, you’ll find he is full of rubbish.

            Hitler liked to pinch the cheeks of cute children and put on a good public appearance to appeal to the everyman. What’s your point, Pedro?

        • Nigel Farage is, demonstrably, a revolting human being. He has infected large numbers of people with his brand of xenophobia and hatred. People like you. Nigel isn’t unique, there are many people that have come before him and done exactly the same thing. They too preyed on the weak-minded and disenfranchised.

          I dislike you, Peter, because you are exactly the sort of person who would have been an active and willing participant in national socialism, back in the 1930s. Everything you say on here demonstrates this. You are stupid because you actually believe the lies you are fed. I don’t blame you for that, but it doesn’t make you any less stupid.

          • He’s a nice chap actually. I know that the staff at the Winter Gardens found him very approachable and friendly, and would even let him nip out for a fag in the private staff area. Shame you didn’t pop along to listen to him. I did, as I was curious whether or not I’d find him worth supporting (in the end I decided to stick with Conservatives).

  2. You disgusting person. These are refugees, not immigrants, fleeing war. They are human beings and deserve our compassion and support, not rancid bile.

    • I fully support GENUINE REFUGEES, such as the Ukraine’s, however the vast majority of those arriving illegally in small boats are actually Economic migrants, all of whom have already travelled through/from a safe country!
      The cost to every uK taxpayer is incredible and unsustainable, especially in these difficult times for so many!

      • Check your facts. Home Office figures show more than 70% of asylum seekers have valid claims. Cost to UK taxpayer is a fraction of that lost by losing tax to offshore tax havens.

      • Surely a genuine refugee crosses the channel on a ferry costing less than £50 ? ? ?

        I am not aware of persons from Ukraine paying £3,000+ to cross the channel in a rubber dinghy.

    • Phil Shotton just because someone expresses a different opinion to your view does not not make them a disgusting person. As far as compassion and support, you I believe have a large property maybe you can assist in their accommodation.

  3. The land was gifted by Stone Hill Park.
    I wonder if the current neighbours (RiverOak) would stump up a bit of cash? After all, £150.000 is lose change compared with the £500,000,000 they claim they will invest in Manston.

    • I suggest you get the Trustees of the Spitfire Museum to answer your question. RSP have helped the RAF Museum (at the other end of that land) a lot and have continuing great support from the manager of the NAAFI Café, Jeannine, as well as the trustees there.

  4. Correct me if I’m wrong, but aren’t our “own people” (whoever they are) benefitting from £100s in energy discounts; the more vulnerable of our “own people” (whoever they are) are getting extra winter fuel allowance.
    If Nigel Farage had not pushed for Brexit, and a weak David Cameron capitulated, we wouldn’t be having the current problems at Manston.

  5. This is our history, it shouldn’t need a funding page, the government should fund things like this.

    We need to remember the sacrifice these men and women gave.

    We give shed loads of money to the arty community. This museum is more important and should be funded by Grant’s etc

  6. I am (unusually) a little confused.
    According to many posting here, there is overwhelming local support for Manston.
    Yet I see that the appeal for the Manston Museum has, over more than 6 months, raised just over £600.
    Meanwhile, in just a couple of months, the appeal for the JR has raised almost £20,000. And that’s the second one. The first raised over £100,000.
    So: where’s all this local support for all things aviation?

    • Where was all the local support for the JR? Apart from your own many donations, most of them came from general anti-aviation people who live miles away from Thanet.

  7. Andrew

    Perhaps the pro manston arent really that bothered about manston history. They just believe a struck off solicitor sadly

    • I see that since this piece appeared in IoTN, more than a dozen contributions have been added this column, whereas none (zero, zilch) has been added to the appeal (for almost three weeks).

      Which rather begs the question: why has the IoTN published this piece supporting the Museums when the project is months old?

      • Because they asked for my help. It doesn’t say the appeal is new, it says they are hoping for some support

        • Kathy thanks for posting this page as until now I did not know about the need for more funds as I thought this was funded already, it’s a shame those people who are bickering over Mr Farage don’t seem to have any money to donate even just £5 would be a good idea as myself believe that if we don’t educate our children about the heroes and the work of those who built these beautiful flying machines they will never understand why they are lucky to be in free society, I live on the bread line but I will get £66 from the state towards my electricity/gas in a few days I will donate some of it to the cause as I did the same to another good cause last month and will for each month all the time they give me back more than the excess money feul is costing me, thanks again Kathy.

  8. I bet the poor people currently being kept in awful conditions at Manston can at least spell the word “immigrants”. If you’re going to be a revolting Little Englander, at least learn how to read and write English. It helps.

  9. I know this is irrelevant to the subject but why can’t make our comments at the stories of what is happening at Manston immigration centre??? I know someone who works there and the picture of the immigrants being maltreated is a lot of rubbish, my friend eat the same food as they do, they have staff who clean their toiled and rooms, STOP these lies whoever is spreading them total lies. They’re ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS, they came to our shores on boats illegally. What more do they want? Now they’re being moved to hostels and hotels? What about our homeless people who can use those facilities, get your reports right and stop spreading emotional lies showing people showing signs of “maltreatment and inhuman”.

    • I’ve done quite a lot about the hard work of staff and included comments from the MP about the adequacy of facilities. Food was mentioned in a Prison Inspector’s report as being adequate although only fast food, otherwise it isn’t mentioned at all. The reports do not contain emotional lies, the first one is directly from the POA union speaking on behalf of staff. Others are from the MP and the Home Affairs Committee plus, on the other side of the issue, the SOAS and last night’s demonstrators. The issue is not the staff, it is the government handling of asylum facilities and the difficulty faced due to large numbers of people making the Channel crossing. The comment function is off because it just descends into comments that cross the line.

      • Then why not just delete the comments you think cross the line and allow local people their say on what is happening in Thanet. Is this not a country with Free Speech.
        Some of the insulting comments made on this page should definitely be deleted and they are aimed at comments made by others with unbelievably rude remarks about certain people.
        You allow that.
        One person in particular should have all their comments deleted.
        They do not have the guts to put their real name si can say what they like.

        • Unfortunately ‘just deleting’ is very time consuming and I also have to research and write articles, visit people, phone people, do accounts, look after the IT side of the website and manage the social media accounts. This is why comments are turned off on articles that I know will attract many over the line comments. The fact that people are now taking these comments onto other, unrelated articles just means it takes me longer to find and delete them, meaning less time to write actual news. If you looked you’d also see that a couple of the Manston related articles do have comments open, so you could have posted there instead of on the end of a museum’s appeal that has nothing to do with migration – actually having looked again the open comment article went up after your comment had been made.

  10. We all know how busy you are and that you almost singlehandedly run your on line newspaper.
    I read it every day.
    I am not questioning that and yes you are correct, the article is not about the problem at Manston.
    Nobody has been able to make any comments about the situation at Manston because you have closed that in features about the situation there.
    I made my comments because others on this thread had done so.
    I too know somebody who works there and they see things in a different light to the reporting in all newspapers.

    • I think the Manston issue is one where someone will always be unhappy because no-one agrees on what is happening or what the solution is. I have spoken to some staff and there are even differing views among them. Hopefully it will soon be dealt with and Thanet can get back to being known for its beaches. Thank you for being one of the site’s readers and I apologise for sounding a bit terse, it wasn’t intended but re-reading it I realise it may have come across that way

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