News from 2015

  • Awards Night!!

On October 12th the awards for Suffolk Museum of the Year were held, and we are pleased to announce that the BCWM picked up the Suffolk Museum of the Year Special Award and the Object of the Year Award. A really big thank you to everyone who voted for us for the latter award. Your continued support has paid off and we thank you all for helping us preserve the memory of the Twin-Bases.


  • Our last opening of 2015  is almost here…

Only 1 more opening before the museum closes up for Winter!!! Why not try and come along to our last opening of 2015 on October 18th. Suffice to say we will be busy over the winter months to ensure that the museum is ready for 2016.

If you can’t make it, then have a look at the dates below that show when we are open in 2016.

April – 3 & 17

May – 1/2, 15, & 29/30

June – 5 & 19

July – 3 & 17

August – 7, 21, & 28/29

September – 4 & 18

October – 2 & 16


  • Cold War Walk – Sunday 11th October, 2015

After a successful walk in July, here is a last chance this year to walk around Bentwaters and sample the atmosphere of a Cold War airfield and view the architecture of a former United States Air Force front line air base.

The tour will start with an hour long visit to the museum to find out the history of the site and then a guided walk around the airfield going past and through different areas of interest and finishing back at the museum.

Cost will be £15.00 per person. It is advisable to pre-book to make sure of place on the walk. All proceeds go to the Bentwaters Cold War Museum, charity No 1124197

Numbers will be limited to 25 people (sorry but no children under 12), dogs are allowed if kept on a lead.

– The walk is about 4 miles long and is mostly on a hard surface

– The walk will be cancelled if weather conditions are extreme

– Instructions from the guides must be followed at all times due to Health & Safety factors. Failure to do so may result in the cancellation of the walk

– Allow 4 to 5 hours for the visit, starting at 11am.

Thanks to Bentwaters Parks for their kind permission for airfield access.

Email info@bcwm.org.uk to book your place or to ask any questions


  • Museum and airfield tour – Sunday 9th August, 2015

In a slightly different format to our Cold War Walk, this event will include a coach tour around Bentwaters.

The tour will start at the museum and then continue with a coach tour around the airfield. This will include stopping at numerous locations around the airfield, and an in-depth talk at each area. This will include the fuel section, control tower, weapons store, hush house and other locations around the airfield.

Costs are £15.00 per person. and must be pre-booked and pre paid.

The museum will be open from 10am and the tour starts at 11am. The airfield tour is about 4 hours long.

The cafe will be open from 10am until 11am for light refreshments. Feel free to bring your own packed lunch.

For more information or to book, please email us at info@bcwm.org.uk or contact us on 07588877020


  • Cold War Walk – Sunday 26th July, 2015

After successful walks last year, here is another chance to walk around Bentwaters and sample the atmosphere of a Cold War airfield and view the architecture of a former United States Air Force front line air base.

The tour will start with an hour long visit to the museum to find out the history of the site and then a guided walk around the airfield going past and through different areas of interest and finishing back at the museum.

Cost will be £15.00 per person. It is advisable to pre-book to make sure of place on the walk.

All proceeds go to the Bentwaters Cold War Museum, charity No 1124197

Numbers will be limited to 25 people (sorry but no children under 12), dogs are allowed if kept on a lead.

– The walk is about 4 miles long and is mostly on a hard surface

– The walk will be cancelled if weather conditions are extreme

– Instructions from the guides must be followed at all times due to Health & Safety factors. Failure to do so may result in the cancellation of the walk

– Allow 4 to 5 hours for the visit, starting at 11am.

Thanks to Bentwaters Parks for their kind permission for airfield access.

Email info@bcwm.org.uk to book your place or to ask any questions.


  • A public article about the BCWM Open Night event…

What did the public think of our Open Night event? Read this report from an attendee to see what she thought…


The BCWM night event on May 14th…

The BCWM held it’s first ever night event on May 14th, and it was attended by over 100 visitors on the night. The event included a film/documentary, a reenactment in the Battle Cabin and War Ops room, and a lit photo opportunity of the Harrier and Phantom outside the museum. A great night was had by both the staff and visitors, and we look forward to repeating this event in October. More details about the date in October will follow soon.

Some images of the night taken by Graham Gilbert and Richard Kelm can be seen below. Thanks to them for the photos.

Thanks also go to the guys from The Lazy Company reenactment group who joined us on the night.


Bentwaters Cold War Museum at night…

Date : 14th May 2015

Opening times : 7.00pm to 10.00pm

A new experience for one of East Anglia’s established aviation museums is to take part in the National Museums at Night event on 14th May 2015.

Opening in the evening with floodlit aircraft and live re-enactment by museum staff in the Cold War Command Post Bunker who will bring to life the ominous prospect of impending war that the world faced when the superpowers of the USA and the Soviet Union opposed each other

Guided tours of the museum will be available at intervals plus films and photo opportunities both in the Command Post and outside with the aircraft, all arranged to maximise the visitor experience.

Admission is the normal price of £5.00 with children free. Hot drinks will be available in the museum café.


The Domestic Site…

Looking away from the runways and aircraft of Bentwaters, it is important to remember that there was also a significant domestic site included as part of RAF Bentwaters. This housed and provided services for the USAF personnel for a considerable period of years.

The images below have been passed to us by Robin Plummer who visited the site in 2002 with Miles Finch to take some photographs before the demolition was complete. Some of the buildings illustrated include the Accommodation Blocks, 753 Green Hall, 754 Berring Hall, 748 Kisling Hall, 759 Ramoneda Inn, the Acute Care Clinic, the Medical Centre, the Linen Store and the Main Plant Room/Stores. Many thanks to Robin for providing these images.


The 2015 season gets underway…

Here are some shots taken in the museum on April 5th- our first day of the 2015 season. Thanks to Graham Gilbert & Simon Parker for the shots!


Thanks for a generous donation…

Special thanks go to the staff at Anglia NDT Ltd who have very generously donated a collection of boroscope equipment for us to use with the Adour engines for Jaguar XX741. This equipment will prove invaluable in the work on the engines in the future.


Sunday washing…

Some of the external exhibits were given a good washing down in advance of the 2015 season whilst the weather was decent and not raining for once!


Winter work…

Work has continued over the Winter months in both the museum and our HAS to provide new attractions for the 2015 season. New displays and exhibits are in the process of being prepared inside the museum, and restoration work has continued at a great pace on our Jaguar, Lightning, and Meteor airframes.


Adour 104 Engines…

The BCWM are pleased to show off a pair of Adour 104 engines that have been sourced for Jaguar XX741. Please do not think that these will enable XX741 to take to the skies once more, as this is not the case!!! The engines are simply another part of the tremendous effort being made to restore XX741. This has been made possible courtesy of the generous assistance of Brian Smee to whom the museum is very grateful.


2015 Opening times…

These have now been confirmed as:

April 5th, 6th, 19th

May 3rd, 4th, 17th, 24th, 25th

June 7th, 21st

July 5th, 19th

August 2nd, 16th, 30th, 31st

September 6th, 20th

October 4th, 18th

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