Boxted Airfield Historical Group

Group History
The group based in Colchester Essex was formed in the year 2000 by Richard Turner. Richard has researched the history of Boxted airfield since 1995 and has staged exhibitions with the material collected since January 1999.

There was a lot of local interest and so he decided that if this project was going to continue, more help was needed. So after a meeting of enthusiasts, the first committee was formed in February 2000.

Membership now stands at over 100 worldwide, including airfield veterans, both American servicemen and RAF personnel, who were based at Boxted. The group holds regular meetings with guest speakers, film evenings, etc. Full details can be found on the “Group Events” page on this web site.

We would welcome your comments on the layout and information contained in this site - please use the form on the "Contact Us" page.

If you would like to become a member of our group, please go to our "Group Membership" page for details. We also offer free life membership to any personnel who served at Boxted, whether it was with the US Army Air Corps or the RAF.

Refurbishment of airfield memorial
During 2007, a grant was given to Langham Parish Council to repair the village war memorial. Included in the application was a request for money to refurbish the airfield memorial. Our group was asked if we would like to be involved in the design process and, after some deliberation, we suggested a wall should be built about 5 feet high around the present monument, which was agreed by the Parish Council. Carved into the granite are the names of the American units and the dates that they were stationed at Boxted, and also details of the RAF use of the field. The refurbishment was completed in April 2008.

Annual Report by the Committee for year ending 28 February 2018

                               

Committee: The committee met 12 times during the year to carry out the business of the Group.

 

Number of members: Total of 102, including 1 honorary member and two veterans, compared to a total of 87 in the previous year.

 

Club nights: There were 10 club nights, one of which was preceded by the AGM in April.  A number of members made a visit to Alan & Pauline Mattin’s collection of memorabilia at Little Tey in October.

 

Social: The annual Christmas meal was held at the Wooden Fender Pub Restaurant on 14 December and raised £63 for Group funds via a raffle etc.

 

Museum: The museum had a good season with the usual 8 regular openings on the last Sunday of the month from March to October. Members of the South Essex Amateur Radio Society were again in attendance on two occasions broadcasting from the museum and gave us valuable on the air publicity. In addition, there were a number of private visits by various local clubs and organisations. We were also delighted to host visits by a number of visitors from the USA, whose relatives had either served at Boxted or at other nearby US airfields.

 

The DVD is continuing to sell well. In addition, Peter Potter’s book “Tales of Peter Potter” was launched in May and Peter held a signing session at the museum.

 

A 2018 calendar was produced by Scott McClure who operates a Families Group which supports the interests of the Group in the USA. The calendar was on sale at the museum with proceeds going to the Third Building project.

 

During the Winter closure rearrangement of a number of displays took place. New acquisitions include a full RAF uniform donated by our Honorary Member Ron Tickner. Further parts of a P47 Thunderbolt have also been donated to us and await conservation and display.

 

Work is ongoing in marking and entering all exhibits in an Accessions Register and the Group received a grant for this project from the Small Museums in Essex Group.

 

A project, financed by a grant from the HLF, is assembling a permanent and portable exhibition display of photographs of airfield buildings then and now. The Exhibition will be launched at the Groups 75th Anniversary of the airfield event on 24th June.

 

There is now a computer screen and keyboard in the museum linked to the American Air Museum data base at IWM Duxford. The intention is that visitors will be able to use it to research information on their relatives. It was funded by the Eighth in the East organisation.

 

Publicity /website : The Museum continues to receive regular publicity in the local press and through the distribution of flyers and posters to other museums and libraries. The website plays a valuable role in raising the profile of the museum and the Group’s activities and a copy of this report will be placed on the website. The website has had 4889 hits in the past 12 months.  Additionally, the museum has been publicised on Google Earth attracting some 15,000 hits since 2016. The museum has been listed in the Flypast magazine 2018 Museums Supplement.

 

Over the weekend of 18 & 19 March the Group was able to have a display and distribute flyers to shoppers at Colchester Tesco. The Group also had a stand at the World War Two event at Little Easton Gardens.

 

Work with other organisations: The Group continues to work with the American Museum database at the IWM Duxford, inputting additional information from its own archive. It continues to be represented on the Small Museums in Essex Group.

 

Future plans :

                                                                

2018 marks the 75th Anniversary of the Americans arriving at Boxted and the Group has planned a series of events in May & June a number of relatives of those that served at Boxted will be attending these events.

 

Work commenced on the third museum building on 26 February and completed on the 11th may. We will use the new building as a theatre for our 75th anniversary commemorations.