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News from the Kenley Revival Project

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May 2018


Welcome to the Kenley Revival Project Newsletter.
 
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Community Archaeology 2018


Last year the Kenley Revival Project hosted a week long archaeology event, inviting volunteers to join us in investigating the hidden features around one of the World War II blast pens on site as part of the Festival of Archaeology. We were very successful in our investigation thanks to the efforts of our hardworking volunteers including uncovering the footings of the Canadian flight hut and concrete tie down areas for fighter aircraft complete with metal rings.

This year we are back for one final archaeology dig before the project ends in May 2019 and we need you to make it a huge success!

We are looking for enthusiastic volunteers who will help us to investigate key heritage features on Kenley Common as part of the historic airfield. You will have the chance to work alongside MOLA (Museum of London Archaeology) and Historic England.

We will be returning to the area we investigated last year to get an even better picture of how it would have functioned during World War II - we're even hoping to excavate the arm of the blast pen in order to find out how it was constructed!

You will get the chance to excavate features, make reconstruction drawings of the remaining footings and help us in revealing hidden archaeology. Furthermore you will get the opportunity to take part in workshops to learn more about artefact handling and map progression to consolidate your learning. During the whole event we will have professional archaeologists onsite who will share their knowledge with you.

There will be two groups on offer: 16 - 18 July and 23 - 25 July. If you would like to take part please sign up to either Group 1 (Monday 16 July) or Group 2 (Monday 23 July). Please note that due to fairness and popularity, we would expect volunteer’s to attend one group and participate for all 3 days including attending a mandatory health and safety induction on the 1st day. Places are free and available on a first come first served basis so please do ensure you can commit to the duration of the dig.

Please note that the community archaeology will include physical tasks that may require you to work at ground level along with digging activities, please remember to wear appropriate clothing and footwear. You must also be over 18 to participate.

If you would like to participate, please book your place here.

Once you have signed up you will be contacted shortly after with the further details of the dig and the timetables for the event.
 
We will also be holding a public open day on Saturday 21 July similar to last year with guided tours on the archaeology of RAF Kenley along with a sandpit for kids to learn digging skills. Further details of this day will be available on our website and in our newsletter - watch this space!

If you would like to find out about the findings from last year's archaeology dig there is a report authored by Lead Archaeologist, Dave Sankey from MOLA which is available on our website.

Conservation works: brick and mortar issues


Visitors may have noticed that the mortar used on some of last year’s repairs to the blast pens and rifle range seems to have been badly affected by the severe winter weather.  We are working closely with the Conservation Contractor and Architect to investigate the possible reasons for this. 

We will provide updates via this newsletter once we have a better understating of what has happened and how the problem can be resolved. Please do observe any safety messaging you may see onsite.

Article of the Month: 'Worklife at Kenley in the eyes of a Polish pilot'

Jan Jokiel was born in Lodz, Poland on July 28th 1906. After the outbreak of World War II he fled the country to join the army. As an airforce major (V.M.) and intelligence officer he served in Squadron 302 which was stationed at various English airfields, including Kenley. He was also interested in photography and owned a good camera which he used to capture everyday life of his colleagues.

Click here to read the whole article on our website.

With many thanks to Karolina Roszkowska, one of our dedicated website volunteers for writing this article. Karolina found the book and actually translated the image captions from Polish to English to put onto the website.

Think you could write for the website? Take a look at our volunteering opportunities online.

Oral History: Robin Chandler's memories of Kenley


"Yes, I remember distinctly the 18th August 1940 because Kenley was pretty badly damaged on that day and our garden sloped quite a steep slope upwards, and my father pulled me up the top of the garden and said “look there is the smoke coming from Kenley” so I remember that very vividly." ...

"We had a shelter dug in the back garden at that stage, and I remember this bomb coming down sounding rather like a steam engine because there were a lot of steam engines then so I said to my mother “it is a steam engine” and she said “no it’s a bomb”. Subsequently of course it didn’t go off, thank goodness, otherwise we might have got a bit of damage." ...

The Kenley Revival Oral History volunteers were very lucky to have interviewed Robin Chandler who lived locally to RAF Kenley during the war. Click here to read more of his Kenley memories.

Read other incredible stories of those we have interviewed throughout the project by
clicking here.

Know someone who would like to be interviewed? Please get in
touch to let us know.

'The Canadians at Kenley'  


"The association of Canadians with Kenley airfield goes back to its beginnings in 1917 when lumberjacks from the Canadian Forestry Corps were drafted in by the Defence department to clear the group for the airfield, against the wishes of the local people and the Corporation of London, who had owned the land since 1883.

This association was strengthened in November 1942 when the Canadian wing at Kenley was formed. The wing was made up of Canadian Spitfire squadrons which came and went from Kenley quite frequently. From March 1943, the wing was commanded by Wing Commander Johnnie Johnson, whose score of enemy aircraft destroyed had just reached double figures (it was to reach 38 by the end of the war). These feats earned him a Distinguished Service Order (DSO) and bar, to add to his previous Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC)."

With many thanks to Tony Adams, one of our dedicated website volunteers for writing this article. Tony Adams undertook extensive research into the Canadian squadrons that were based at Kenley during World War II. If you would like to read the whole article do click here

Women are Making Britain's Giant Bomber


From the same selection of articles from 'The War Illustrated' which was brought in by one of our fantastic volunteers, this page shows an array of images that depict a workforce of women building Short Stirling Bombers for the Ministry of Aircraft Production.

These images are a great example of the female workforce who dedicated their time during World War II helping where they can and learning new skills, some of which women would not been allowed to do in normal circumstances. 

What is great about these images is the process they have shown, the women are working right from the beginning, helping create the pieces then getting them put together and finally showing an image of the plane on the airfield, ready for use and standing proud. 

Ever wondered how to make chutney?


During our Women at War season we explored the world of rationing, looking at the various ways people would save and re-purpose their rubbish and food as their allowance was so minimal. 

This easy chutney recipe would have been similar to those made during the war. Chutneys and jams were normally made to preserve and prolong the life of fruits, however you would have had to save up your sugar rations for these!  

Want to try and make your own chutney and see what it tastes like? Check out our
website for the recipe and a few other wartime recipes. 

Want to get involved in another Heritage Lottery Funded project?

Voluntary Student Placements at Layers of London


Layers of London currently have three student volunteer placements available this June; Layers of London is a digital mapping project where users can add their own memories and stories, also overlay historical maps over London today to see how areas have changed over time.
Please read the breifs in the links above; and contact our Public Engagement Officer if you have any questions of to apply by 14th May.

The Layers of London Project is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Stavros Niarchos Foundation and the Ford Britain Trust. 
 

Events


Kenley Revival Project Volunteer Drop-In
FREE
May 18th - 1:00pm - 3:00pm
The Dene Café, Woldingham; (CR3 7LA) (Near Knights Garden Centre)


The Kenley Revival Project will be holding a volunteer drop-in session for all those currently volunteering with us. This will be a great chance to meet our new Learning and Volunteer Officer, Charlotte, for a cup of tea and to find out about the upcoming events and new education workshops you can get involved with. As it is a drop-in session feel free to come anytime between 1pm and 3pm and we look forward to seeing you!

Please note this event is just for those who currently volunteer for the Kenley Revival Project.


London History Day - Guided Tour of Kenley Airfield - FULLY BOOKED
FREE
May 31st  -  1:00pm - 3:00pm
Meet at Kenley Airfield, by the tribute

 
Take a 2 mile guided walking tour with the Kenley Revival Project Manager to learn about RAF Kenley's significant Battle of Britain history as part of London History Day. Hear about the conservation, preservation and restorations of one of Britain's finest examples of Impermanent Architecture. Discover the features that were uncovered during our community archaeology last year and find out how we managed to relocate a war memorial complete with a time capsule.

Please note this is a walking tour so please wear appropriate footwear- it could get muddy!

This even is now fully booked but if you would be interested in coming to a walking tour please do let us know. 


Community Archaeology on Kenley Airfield
FREE (book your place here)
July - Group 1 16th - 18th
July - Group 2 23rd - 25th
Meet at Merlewood Estate Office; (CR3 5LN)


We will be returning to the area we investigated last year to get an even better picture of how it would have functioned during World War II - we're even hoping to excavate the arm of the blast pen in order to find out how it was constructed!

You will get the chance to excavate features, make reconstruction drawings of the remaining footings and help us in revealing hidden archaeology. Furthermore you will get the opportunity to take part in workshops to learn more about artefact handling and map progression to consolidate your learning. During the whole event we will have professional archaeologists onsite who will share their knowledge with you.

There will be two groups on offer: 16 - 18 July and 23 - 25 July. If you would like to take part please sign up to either Group 1 (Monday 16 July) or Group 2 (Monday 23 July). Please note that due to fairness and popularity, we would expect volunteer’s to attend one group and participate for all 3 days including attending a mandatory health and safety induction on the 1st day. Places are free and available on a first come first served basis so please do ensure you can commit to the duration of the dig.

Please note that the community archaeology will include physical tasks that may require you to work at ground level along with digging activities, please remember to wear appropriate clothing and footwear. You must also be over 18 to participate.

If you would like to participate, please book your place here.

Volunteer Survey 2018

We are carrying out a volunteer survey to help us understand what you think about your role within the Kenley Revival Project. There is a simple online form that you can fill in. It shouldn`t take more than a couple of minutes to complete.

Thank you very much for your time.

Copyright © *2017* Kenley Revival Project, All rights reserved.

The City of London Corporation has seven green spaces in South London and Surrey covered by three charities: Ashtead Common, Coulsdon Commons and West Wickham Commons.

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