Chance to visit a real gem'

PUBLISHED: 12:05 15 June 2006 | UPDATED: 14:44 12 May 2010

Chris Murphy with a wartime telephone

Chris Murphy with a wartime telephone

AN open weekend has been planned at the Tower Museum in Bassingbourn Barracks to give people an opportunity to visit its historic collection. The museum has material from the Second World War when the US 91st Bomb Group was based there, along with RAF mem

AN open weekend has been planned at the Tower Museum in Bassingbourn Barracks to give people an opportunity to visit its historic collection.

The museum has material from the Second World War when the US 91st Bomb Group was based there, along with RAF memorabilia and items relating to the base.

Chris Murphy, who works at the museum and is chairman of the Royston branch of the Royal Air Forces Association, said: "We want to show the public that the museum is a real gem."

The weekend will include the showings of Hollywood director William Wyler's war-time documentary on the Memphis Belle, the huge B-17 Flying Fortress which captured the imagination during the Second World War when it was the first aircraft to complete 25 bombing missions over occupied Europe.

"This is the real war-time of the Memphis Belle," said Mr Murphy. "It's where it started out on its missions and where its crew were based."

The plane was salvaged at the end of the war and has now been restored to be displayed at the Wright-Patterson National Museum of the USAF in Ohio.

The Tower Museum, a Grade II-listed building, served as the control tower for both the 91st Bomb Group and the RAF when Bassingbourn was an air base.

After the war, it became a bomber training station before the Army took over the site in 1969.

Over the weekend, military vehicles will also be on display.

"The idea of the open weekend is to show people that we are here and demonstrate the rich history of the base as a whole," said Mr Murphy.

- The open weekend will be on June 24-25 from 10am-3.30pm and entry at £3 will be through the North Gate of the barracks and not the main entrance.

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