Community Events

2023 Events

Grahame Park Independent Living Group Summer Trip

Once again we welcomed the Grahame Park Independent Living Group to the Museum for their annual summer trip. Unfortunately, the bad weather put a halt to our plans to have an outdoor picnic but our spirits weren't dampened! We quickly shifted inside and got our party started. We were treated to music from the Barnet U3A Ukulele Group and some enthusiastic singing and dancing was enjoyed by all!

Members of the Barnet U3A Ukulele group playing in the Museum's Learning Centre

Barnet Libraries Summer Reading Challenge Launch Event

We were pleased to host the launch event of Barnet Libraries Summer Reading Challenge at the Museum in July. This year's challenge theme is sport, so we created a special 'spot the sporty object' trail around Hangar 1 and got families thinking about the fitness level needed to join the RAF. Along with signing up to the reading challenge, children also got the chance to create their own medals to wear with pride during their visit. 


Barnet Libraries Logo

Age UK Walking Group: Stephens House

Although we've worked lots with Age UK Barnet over the years, July was the first time that we'd been invited to join one of their walking groups. We met with the Stephens House walking group and enjoyed a beautiful - if somewhat damp - walk around the gorgeous grounds! Once we took refuge in the cafe for much needed refreshment and to dry off, we had a chance to talk about the fascinating history of aviation in the local area through an informal presentation and lots of photos from our archive. 

Four people in the distance walking along a paved pathway with grass and trees either side

Armed Forces Day at the Royal National Orthopedic Hospital

This year we celebrated Armed Forces Day with a trip to the Royal National Orthopedic Hospital's special event to mark the occasion. We shared the RAF story with patients and staff by taking along a selection of objects on the theme of 'Escape and Evasion' from our handling collection.

Three women, two wearing RAF caps pose in front of an Armed Forces Day banner

Wings and Waves: Windrush 75 Local Stories

Following on from a successful call out we welcomed local residents who were part of the Windrush generation to a tea party at the Museum. This joint event with the London Borough of Barnet saw us share stories of the RAF's link to Windrush, as well as hearing from the group about their own experiences as part of the Windrush generation. We were able to record experiences of travel to the UK, tales of early days in Britain as well as hearing about how the idea of living in the UK didn't always match up with the reality. We are so grateful to participants for being involved and being so open and happy to share. 

The stories we collected were then displayed at our Wings and Waves: Windrush 75 event so visitors had the chance to learn more about the experiences of these incredible Barnet residents. 

Blue display boards with text and images with the title Local Windrush Stories

Work Related Learning Day at Whitefields School

We joined Year 9 students at Whitefields School for their work related learning day - talking about working in museums and giving them the opportunity to try their hand at being a curator. Students learned about different types of museums and different roles that we need to keep museums running smoothly. Students then examined objects and told the story of their object by writing their own labels. 

A year 9 student's description of a button stick

Saturday Socials at Burnt Oak Library

We had a fantastic afternoon joining Burnt Oak Library's Saturday Socials group. The group meets weekly for refreshments, socialising and guest speakers. We had a great time speaking about the history of aviation in Hendon and it was lovely to hear everyone's reminiscences about our local area. The group also took part in consultation for the Museum's new Interwar Exhibition; helping us to decide which world events to include in our introductory timeline. 

A promotional image for Saturday Socials at Burnt Oak Library

Past Events

Age UK Barnet Museum Sessions

Throughout October and November we were joined by Age UK Barnet for a range of sessions exploring the Museum's collection. Together we discovered more about the history of RAF helmets with an object handling session, learnt about the service of Black and Asian RAF personnel for Black History Month, enjoyed the new Art Exhibition and explored our Hangars 3,4,5 with a bespoke tour.

A tour guide with a group from Age UK Barnet

Care4Calais Family Group

We were thrilled to welcome some amazing families being supported by Care4Calais to the Museum. We had a great time exploring our hangars, as well as learning about (and colouring in!) Percy the Parachuting Penguin. This was the group's first visit to the Museum but definitely not their last. 

Percy the Parachuting Penguin Colouring In Sheet

Silver Sunday

On 2 October to celebrate Silver Sunday we welcomed local older people to the Museum to learn about the fascinating history of aviation in Hendon and to share their own memories of the area. As one of over 1,000 Silver Sunday events across the UK, it was a fantastic opportunity to share the stories of aviation innovation that took place at the London Aerodrome and RAF Hendon and even more interesting to hear people's own local stories. 

Silver Sunday launched as a local campaign to tackle loneliness and isolation and is now a national day where people of all generations can come together by hosting fun and free activities for older people. 

Silver Sunday Logo

Grahame Park Independent Living Group Summer Picnic

The Museum welcomed the Grahame Park Independent Living Group to our site this summer for their annual summer picnic. We shared an amazing array of food cooked by group members and danced in the sunshine as a local ukulele band played. 

Ukulele Band Playing at the Grahame Park Independent Living Group Picnic

BACE Holiday Club 2022

Over the Summer we teamed up with Barnet Council to run holiday sessions for local children around the themes of food, fitness and health. After enjoying a hot lunch in the Museum's restaurant, the children took part in a range of different activities. We created a bespoke trail where the children explored our hangars by answering questions and solving clues. They also had the chance to try on uniforms from our handling collection and create their own squadron badges. 


Stag Lane Supplementary School Session

7 March at Stag Lane School

Stag Lane Supplementary School students found out more about objects from the Museum’s handling collection at our first bespoke supplementary school session.

Key stage 2 students went on a journey through the session to discover the use of some of our objects, such as a Gosport Tube and Headlamp Mask, and write their own 30 word museum label. Students then discussed which of their own objects they’d like to see preserved in a museum in 100 years time.

Student Button Stick Label

Fantasy Label Writing

18 February 2020 at East Finchley Library

We had an amazing time getting hands on with objects from the RAF Museum’s collection at East Finchley Library for a Fantasy Label Writing Session. Families had a go at identifying objects and writing museum labels, helping them to work on their storytelling skills by creating their own story around a mystery object!


Contact Rhiannon if you’d like a Fantasy Label Writing session at your venue.


Children trying on Goggles

Age UK Barnet Men’s Group

October – December 2019

For the first time the RAF Museum, London hosted Age UK Barnet’s new Men’s Group at the Museum for six interactive sessions. Participants got the chance to explore the Museum focusing on a different theme each visit and got hands on with our handling collection. Themes included Local History, BAME RAF Personnel, Medical Evacuation and lots more.

Age UK GroupAge UK Barnet Logo


Toddler Takeover Day

22 November 2019

A group of toddlers from Home Start Barnet took over Hangar 1 of the Museum for Kids in Museums Toddler Takeover Day. Toddler Takeover Day is a national scheme that gives children the chance to take on jobs and tasks within Museums usually carried out by staff.

Our takeover saw the children cleaning our miniature planes, pricing up shop items, building their own model planes, moving handling collection items as well as condition checking objects. The children also enjoyed a snack in their very own staff room and were paid wages for their work in the form of their very own RAF teddy bear. Who knows, maybe we inspired a future RAF Museum curator!

The photo below shows some of the children enthusiastically dusting a miniature plane.

Toddler Takeover Day


Grange Big Local Fun Palace

6 October 2019

As part of the Museum’s community consultation for our upcoming Battle of Britain art exhibition we put on a mini art display at the Grange Big Local Fun Palace at Tarling Community Centre. Visitors to our stand were asked to choose from 10 artworks depicting The Blitz and vote for their favourite and which they thought should be included in the exhibition.

We had some brilliant responses to the artwork with people choosing their favourite for a range of reasons including colour, subject matter, emotional connection and local links.

Response to Artwork

FUSE Youth Club Visit

12 August 2019

The Museum’s local Youth Club, FUSE, visited us as part of their exciting Summer of activities. 14 local young people completed a trail around RAF Stories, The First 100 Years exhibition in record time and learnt about different jobs within the RAF. They also got a chance to try on, and strike a pose in, a selection of RAF uniforms – Tropical Mess Dress proved the most popular!

Holiday Film Club

6-8 August 2019

The Museum hosted film tutor Jacky Tiller to run a free 3 day film club for young people aged 11-15. The three days saw the group learn all about what it takes to get a film from just an idea to seeing it on the big screen. They worked on storyboarding, learning about different roles on a film set, acting for camera and eventually pitching a film idea.

The photo below shows the club setting up a freeze frame.

The film club was in partnership with Notting Hill Genesis and Colindale Communities Trust.

Grahame Park Festival

20 July 2019

The Grahame Park community held their annual festival on 20 July from 12-3pm this year. The RAF Museum showcased items from our handling collection and ran fun flight inspired craft activities throughout the afternoon. Well done to all our prize winners who took home RAF Teddy Bears, Spitfire Airfix Kits and tickets for our 4D Theatre!

Art for Wellbeing Course

6 June – 11 July 2019 (Weekly)

Art for Wellbeing was a free six week course which discussed wellbeing through personal stories and the art making process. The course was specially created to enable adult learners from our community to engage
with the Royal Air Force Museum using self-expression.

On this course we looked at the fantastic flying
machines within the Museum, and thought about the topic of flight and how it
connects with wellbeing and the power of imagination.


East Barnet Festival

7 July 2019

We had a great day at East Barnet Festival making badges inspired by our collection of RAF badges and medals. The Museum shared a stand at the festival with Young Barnet Foundation who were spreading the word about the amazing work with young people they support throughout the borough.

Barnet Libraries’ Year of Learning

6 July 2019

Barnet Libraries’ Year of Learning is an exciting programme of events and learning opportunities for everyone in the borough. There is a whole year of activities for children, teenagers and adults with a different theme each month!

As part of July’s ‘Explore the World’ month the Museum ran a drop in session at Burnt Oak library for families focused on the RAF’s role across the globe. We offered a fun hat making activity inspired by our new Hat Wall in Hangar 1 and gave children (and the occasional adult!) the chance to try on and explore a selection of RAF hats.


Children’s Art Week Lino Cut Workshop

8 June 2019

As part of Children’s Art Week the Museum ran a pre-bookable Lino Cut and Printing Workshop for local families. Participants learnt the skill of lino cutting to create amazing images inspired by our Second World War
aircraft, fine art and photographic collections. It was great to see local families engaging with our collection and their work has even been displayed in Hangar 1.


Hendon Pageant

1-2 June 2019

1-2 June 2019
This year’s Hendon Pageant welcomed community partners to showcase the amazing work being done within the Museum’s local community.

Colindale Communities Trust, The Loop, Fuse, Lorein Manyika, Shared Enterprise, Advocacy in Barnet and Barnet TV all had stands and spread the word about what’s going on locally over the Pageant weekend.


Brooklands Museum Concorde Day


13 April 2019

A team from our London site headed to Brooklands Museum for their exciting Concorde Day. This event was filled of Concorde-themed activities to celebrate the 50th anniversary of her maiden flight. The RAF Museum had uniforms from the period of Concorde’s first flight for visitors to try on as well as a badgemaking craft activity.

Grahame Park Christmas Craft Event

11 December 2018

Local entrepreneurs from Barnet brought the festive spirit to Grahame Park selling handmade goods ready for Christmas. The Museum outreach team trialled a new badge making activity allowing local people to create their own badges to celebrate the special people in their lives.

Outreach Talk

8 October 2018

Barnet Libraries presented an evening with Dr Ronnie Fraser in association with the RAF Museum London.

They story of the established British Jewry’s involvement with the Royal Flying Corp in the First World War is both glorious and inglorious, full of bravery and the mundane. Whilst the story of the immigrants is more complicated, all sectors of Jewish society were involved ranging from the rich and famous to the middle and working classes. The Jewish experience of the war was no different to that of other sections of British society as all sections of Anglo-Jewry lost many of their young men.

Dr Ronnie Fraser was awarded a Doctorate in Jewish history by Royal Holloway College in 2014 where he studied under the late Professor David Cesarani. He is currently volunteering as a researcher for the RAF Museum looking at Jewish involvement in the RFC as well as the project ‘Jews in The First World War – We Were There Too’.

For more information on having this fascinating talk at your event please contact Rhiannon Watkinson


SoundSkool Music and Performance Course

22 – 26 October 2018

In October half-term, SoundSkool and the RAF Museum ran a free music and performance course for young people in Colindale and Barnet. Participants took part in writing and recording music that told stories of local history, and performed a showcase as the RAF Museum for visitors.



Grange Big Local Fun Palace

6 October 2018

The Museum took part in the Grange Big Local Fun Palace at East Finchley Library. As well as having fun trying on RAF uniforms local families and residents took part in a paper aeroplane challenge; folding paper into different planes to see which flew the furthest, a Vulcan, Typhoon or Tornado F3.


Grahame Park Fun Day


7 July 2018


A community festival for Grahame Park Estate residents. Taking part in the Fun Day helps give us a bigger presence in Colindale, and gives us a great opportunity to show off our collection and history to residents of the area as well as the variety of opportunities we can offer local people. The museum team showcased objects from our handling collection, uniforms for attendees to try on and the Historic Vehicles Team took vehicles from the collection.


NCS The Challenge Photography Project

2, 7, 10, 15, 16 & 25 July 2018

Two groups of 15-17 year olds from NCS The Challenge taking part in photography projects over 3 sessions.

First group involved participants meeting resident organisations on the Grahame Park estate and then attending Grahame Park Fun Day to take photos and ask interview questions provided by Museum, e.g. ‘How long have you lived here?’; ‘Are you aware of the RAF Museum?’; ‘Are You Aware of local RAF History?’; ‘What are your thoughts on living in Colindale?’

Second group involved participants speaking to and photographing volunteers to better understand their roles and their importance within the Museum.

Local Community and Press Day

19 June 2018

Members of local community groups and Colindale Consortium members were invited to attend the Museum’s Community & Press Day where they enjoyed previews of our new London site prior to its Royal Opening on 29 June when members of the community who assisted the Museum with the Historic Hendon Project met HRH the Earl of Wessex.

Press and Community Opening day at the RAF Museum London

Historic Hendon Graphic Novels

31 May 2018

Ten students from the Middlesex University BA (Hons) Illustration course have created a collection of short stories which explore events on and around the Museum’s site from 1910 to the present day.

The stories take us from the grassed airfield of the London Aerodrome, through the years of RAF Hendon, to the current day Grahame Park housing estate and the RAF Museum. These were published on 31 May, with a Reception held at the Museum later that evening to thank the students and their Tutors for all their hard work.

Historic Hendon Graphic Novels' Homepage


Rithmik Course

29 – 31 May 2018

The Rithmik Course ran during May Half Term giving local young people skills in radio production, research and presenting. The output included interviews with staff, visitors and archival research.

Rithmik Course at the RAF Museum London

ESOL Conversation Café

5 and 14 May 2018

The RAF Museum London is a community hub and we invite English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) learners to our Conversational Café. The main purpose of our Café is to give them a chance to practise their English while discussing and sharing their stories, thoughts and memories together. ESOL learners can came together in a relaxed, informal environment in the RAF Museum’s café, to practise their spoken English skills. The sessions used themes and resources developed by Barnet and Southgate College, and RAFM volunteers worked with participants to support their learning, encouraging discussions in small groups. The Conversation Café is run in conjunction with partners at Barnet and Southgate College, Timebank Barnet and Barnet Homes.

Conversational Cafe for ESOL learners at the RAF Museum London


SoundSkool Music and Performance Course

9 – 14 April 2018

In the first week of the Easter holidays, SoundSkool and the RAF Museum will be running a free music and performance course for young people in Colindale and Barnet. Participants will take part in writing and recording music that tells stories of local history, and will perform a showcase at the RAF Museum for visitors. Sign up is essential, only ten places left. Email for signup and info.

Poster for SoundSkool music project

Creative Upcycling

17 February 2018

The RAF Museum, Groundworks and the Loop present a one-day upcyling workshop at the RAF Museum, aimed at encouraging new residents in Colindale explore the local area and the museum, and meet their neighbours.

Creative Upcycling at the RAF Museum

Stop and Laugh: Animation and Stand-Up Course

12 – 16 February 2018

In the the February half-term holidays, Head Held High and Rainbow Head are partnering with the RAF Museum to run a free music and performance course for young people in Colindale and Barnet. Participants will take part in making stop-motion animation or stand up comedy pieces that tell stories about themselves and role models from history. At the end of the week participants will perform a showcase at the RAF Museum. Sign up is essential, only ten places left. Email for signup and info.

Poster for Stop and laugh project

Silver Sunday

5 October 2017

In the first week of October, Barnet Council runs a Silver Sunday week as part of the National Silver Sunday celebration, with organisations all across Barnet joining in. The RAF Museum put on a special talk at the RAF Museum on Thursday 5 October, held underneath our magnificent Lancaster Bomber. The free talk was one of our community talks from the ‘Discover to Share’ project, on the subject of Historic Hendon. It was written and delivered by RAF Museum volunteer Tim Bracey, looking at local history related to aviation.

ARTiculate: Hidden Voices

4-7 April 2017

Like many museums, young people make up disproportionately small part of the RAF Museums’s visitors, currently only around 5%, so working with partners such as ARTiculate and seeing young local people connecting with the Museum’s collections and stories has been really rewarding.

The RAF Museum is in the middle of a large redevelopment project to mark 100 years of the Royal Air Force and we will see 3 new exhibitions open in 2018. The exhibitions will focus on ‘people’ and their experiences, and aims to prompt debate around difficult subjects.

This year’s ARTiculate project ‘Hidden Voices’ did just that. It was focused on, as the name suggests, two of the RAFs more hidden or difficult stories -, women and mental health. Over the week of the project the young people researched areas that interested them and created some beautiful and thought provoking artwork. Hopefully some of the ideas they explored will make into the new exhibitions.

A real highlight of the project was seeing the young people working together, regardless of their background, considering hard-hitting issues and dilemmas that affected people at Hendon before them. Poignantly, one project involved designing parachutes for the Flying Nightgales. A group of women who flew from RAF Hendon during World War II as nurses tending to wounded airmen, . they were not allowed to fly with parachutes. The young people thought about words that summed these women up – brave, supportive, proud, excited – and used these words to create a parachute collage to help the women.

Projects such as ARTiculate are vital so that young people have access to high quality creative activities, and it is a fantastic opportunity for the RAF Museum to be able to work with and support the young people on the programme, and explore local history with them.

Silver Sunday

Sunday 2nd October – Monday 3rd October 2016

In the first week of October, Barnet Council ran a Silver Sunday week as part of the National Silver Sunday celebration, with organisations all across Barnet joining in. The RAF Museum put on a special series of talks on Monday 3rd October aimed at older groups, with one on Asian RAF Pilots, and one on Historic Hendon. The event was great fun and enabled older Barnet residents to share their memories of RAF Hendon.

Burnt Oak Multicultural Festival

Altogether Better Burnt Oak held their annual parade and festival at Silkstream Park on Saturday 17 September. The RAF Museum attended to support the event with a craft table making foam planes, and handling collection items, giving residents and members of the public the opportunity to try on uniforms and hold historic objects.

A young member of the community wearing our WW2 Handling Collection

A Volunteer helping a girl make a foam plane

Volunteers helping members of the local community

A Volunteer at the Crafts Table

Grahame Park Open Air Cinema

We co-organised a new event on the Grahame Park Estate on the evening of the 8 September, an open air screening of The Goonies for local residents. The RAF Museum will be supported the event with our community volunteers, and showed original films from the 1920’s of the London-Manchester Air Race and the 1929 RAF Hendon Pageant.

Grahame Park Open Air Cinema

West Hendon Community Fun Day

Barratts London, in conjunction with Metropolitan Homes, held their annual Fun Day for residents of the West Hendon and Stonegrove estates on the 3rd September from 12noon to 3pm. The Museum attended with a craft table and handling collection, giving residents and members of the public the opportunity to try on uniforms as worn by Second World War RAF Pilots.

Some of our World War II Handling Collection

Charollet Moriba from Metropolitan Homes

Members of the Local community visiting our stand.

Volunteers talking to visitors

Urban Gamez 2016

We attended the Grahame Park estate’s for the annual Urban Gamez. On the day there was a 60m race track, football, climbing wall, face painting, arts and crafts, music and refreshments and a great atmosphere! We brought photos from the museum collection showing RAF crew playing sport during WWI, showing what RAF staff did on their downtime.

Display Panels showing historic photographs

display by community stalls

A view of various activities along local community road

Pulse Community Fun Day 2016

On Friday 22nd July we attended at the Pulse Community Fun Day at the Pulse Flats by Colindale station. We had good regular footfall to the RAFM marquee through the afternoon, talking to local residents about the museum collection, volunteering and Names on a Plane.

Saluting children

A young child trying on a RAF helmet

A couple of young visitors talking to a member of the Museum Team.

Grahame Park Fun Day 2016

We attended the Grahame Park Fun Day on Saturday 9th July, with six stands including object handling, volunteering, crafts, vehicles, prize giving and Names on a Plane. We had the support of a great team of volunteers, including cadets from 120 ATC, who also brought a table to talk about the opportunities for joining the ATC. A thank you to everyone who helped out with organisation of the event. Taking part in the Fun Day helps give us a bigger presence in Colindale, and gives us a great opportunity to show off our collection and history to residents of the area as well as the variety of opportunities we can offer local people – the day went really well and we had good footfall at all of the stands.

Volunteers team with historical vehicles

Young visitors handling objects
Craft Table and 120 Stand