HUNDREDS enjoyed a weekend of nostalgic and poignant activities to mark the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Britain at former RAF Bentley Priory.

The Grade II* listed mansion house was the home of Fighter Command from where The Few – the nickname the heroic pilots assumed following Prime Minister Churchill's historic speech – were directed during the landmark aerial warfare campaign of the Second World War.

So it was only fitting that the site hosted an open day on Saturday and a showcase of traditional music on Sunday between 1pm and 5pm, with the proceeds being split between St Luke's Hospice, based in Kenton Grange, Kenton, and The Bentley Priory Battle of Britain Trust.

Visitor Mort Smith, of Ashford, Surrey, said: "It was very well attended. The re-enactment group – The 39 to 45 Group – did an re-enactment of a control room with the WAFF moving the aircraft around the map.

"They showed what it would have been liked during an air raid and it seemed totally authentic.

"Everyone was in uniforms and they had a soundtrack running so could you hear the communication between the ground and the pilots.

"There were lots of youngsters there and it brought to life for them what it was really like during the war.

"Perhaps the only disappointment was that the Hurricane flypast had to be cancelled due to low cloud cover."

Speaking of Sunday's concert, Esther Gillham, St Luke's Hospice's community fundraising team leader, said: "We had more people coming than we expected. We had sold 550 tickets before the evening and we had another 100 turn up and pay on the door we were almost at capacity, which we're really pleased with.

"We had the Voice In A Million choir and Harrow Apollo Male Choir. They were fantastic, and sung up to the Spitfire fly past at 3pm.

"After that, we had the British Airways Brass Band, a classic marching band playing RAF-type music, and Gregg McCann and The Hands of Jazz to finish. Everybody got up and danced.

"We reckon we have raised £13,000 for the two charities so we're really pleased."