Scour the attic, talk to the grandparents and dust off that ‘mystery object’ gathering cobwebs in the garage.
RAF Northolt needs you – to look out for Second World War-era memorabilia, to help it complete its refurbishment of the Battle of Britain-era operations room at the heart of the West End Road airfield.
In preparation for the RAF Northolt centenary next year, volunteers are hard at work restoring the operations room to as close as possible to how it would have looked when Northolt was a sector airfield, controlled from the famous RAF Uxbridge bunker.
Using period materials as far as possible, they are lovingly and painstakingly turning back the clock to the dark days of the Battle of Britain, when the RAF stood between Hitler and likely invasion of these islands.
Airfields such as Northolt were on the front line, scrambling flight after flight of fighter aircraft to intercept German raiders as they swept in across the English Channel and the North Sea.
As part of the restoration there will be a small museum of donated artifacts, to which it is hoped to be able to offer visits by appointment in due course.
Meanwhile the work goes on rebuilding the famous ‘ops table’ showing aircraft movements, plus the viewing dais and authentic fixtures and fittings: everything from coat hooks to fire buckets to light switches, rescued from other RAF stations that have closed, or that have been bought from collectors.
As part of the collection, the ops room is now home to a motley collection of Second World War-era items, including the odd machine gun and rifle, gas mask, uniform and assorted bits of shrapnel and German bomb fragments.
Phil Dawe, the restoration team leader, said: “This building, when its restoration is complete, will be set to how it was in 1940, so anything appropriate that is RAF or army – and especially the Polish 303 Squadron of the RAF – that would help the place look good would be gratefully received.
“We will keep a record of all the people who support the project.”
Many of the items already in the collection have been lent or donated by relatives of people who served at RAF Northolt during the war.
To offer any memorabilia, contact Mr Dawe on 07711130994 or email firstname.lastname@example.org