Community Events

Explore Colindale’s History While You Exercise

Make the most of your exercise and learn more about the history of Grahame Park and Colindale. Explore some important aviation sites, such as Aeroville and the old Officers’ Mess, by using our new guide whilst you’re out and about.

To view the PDF click here: Explore Colindale

Aerodrome Road

Battle of Britain Community Consultation

In 2020 the RAF Museum will be holding an exciting Art Exhibition to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the Battle of Britain. During the Autumn and Winter we are consulting with our local community to find out which artworks on the theme of The Blitz should be included.

We will be consulting with a range of local groups including Age UK, the Museum’s Art for Wellbeing Learners, Grahame Park Residents and Grange Big Local Residents.

If you are interested in being involved in this project and would like to find out more, please contact Rhiannon Watkinson

Previous Events

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 Barent 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