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RAF Museum’s ‘First World War in the Air’ exhibition wins National Lottery Award (10th September 2015)

RAF Museum’s ‘First World War in the Air’ exhibition wins National Lottery Award

‘GOLD’ for Royal Air Force Museum as musician and actor Martin Kemp celebrates the Museum being voted the UK’s Best Heritage project

RAF Museum’s ‘First World War in the Air’ exhibition wins National Lottery Award

‘GOLD’ for Royal Air Force Museum as musician and actor Martin Kemp celebrates the Museum being voted the UK’s Best Heritage project.

On Tuesday 1st September 2015 musician and actor Martin Kemp presented staff at the RAF Museum in London with a National Lottery Award trophy for the ‘First World War in the Air’ exhibition, which spans across both its London and Cosford sites.

The star of Spandau Ballet hits like ‘Gold’ and ‘True’ famously took to the skies back in 2008 for ‘Martin Kemp: The Battle of Britain’. As part of a TV series the daredevil boarded a World War II fighter plane to recreate a Battle of Britain dogfight. Today it was his turn to try out World War I planes instead– albeit on the ground! Martin took time out from tour preparations to help staff at the RAF Museum celebrate its award-winning exhibition.

The museum’s First World War in the Air exhibition received over 7,000 votes to be named the UK’s Best Heritage project in this year’s National Lottery Awards - the annual search to find the UK’s favourite Lottery funded projects. The museum wins a £2,000 cash prize, an iconic National Lottery Awards trophy and will attend a star-studded Awards ceremony, The National Lottery Stars, broadcast on BBC One on 21 September.

The Royal Air Force Museum’s popular First World War in the Air gallery brings to life the compelling stories of the people, innovations, engineering and aircraft of the Great War. Over 65,000 people have visited the exhibition in the last six months, with thousands more accessing information on the Museum’s websites.

Martin Kemp said:

“This is a fantastic project, not just for aviation fans like me. It is great that National Lottery Players have helped to preserve these wonderful flying machines for so many young families and people of all ages to appreciate.”

Karen Whitting, Director of Public Programmes at RAF Museum added:

“This award is special because it is voted for by the British public. We hope our success will give us even more of a national and international profile and help to attract more National Lottery Players and visitors.”

The ‘First World War in the Air’ Exhibition at Cosford is set amongst the Museum’s collection of warplanes. Three iconic First World War aircraft; the Sopwith Pup, Sopwith 1 ½ Strutter and the Bristol M.1c form the centre piece of the new display. Displayed alongside the aircraft are the personal items of Second Lieutenant Kevin Robert Furniss of the Royal Flying Corps (RFC), who lived only a few miles from Cosford in Wolverhampton.

Clare Carr, Assistant Curator at RAF Museum Cosford:

‘First World War in the Air’ is the first stage in the Museums move towards celebrating the centenary of the Royal Air Force in 2018. Cosford’s ‘First World War in the Air’ display focuses more on telling the story of local individuals and their role in the conflict, and lays the foundations for exciting new exhibitions to come, in the build up to the centenary.”