Montrose Air Station could become only Scottish RAF museum

Pictured, from the left are: Sir David Walker, Montrose Air Station Heritage Centre chairman Alan Doe and Sqn Ldr Jerry Riley, checking on the progress of the Heritage Centre's replica BE2 aircraft which is under construction.
Pictured, from the left are: Sir David Walker, Montrose Air Station Heritage Centre chairman Alan Doe and Sqn Ldr Jerry Riley, checking on the progress of the Heritage Centre's replica BE2 aircraft which is under construction.

Montrose Air Station could become Scotland’s only RAF museum, following a first visit from the centre’s new honorary president.

Air Marshal Sir David Walker, KCVO, OBE visited the heritage centre, accompanied by Jerry Riley, Squadron Leader of No. 603 Squadron, on Saturday.

They had an eventful journey through snow to get to a snow-free Montrose, and following his visit, Sir David says he wants to take on more of an active role at the museum.

This was his first visit since taking over as honorary president from Lord Selkirk, James Douglas-Hamilton, PC, QC last October.

They were greeted by chairman Alan Doe, taken on a tour of the museum and met several of the members.

Sir David said he was “most impressed by the efforts of the volunteers”.

Dan Paton, curator of the heritage centre, said: “The position of patron is honorary but it appears Sir David wishes to be more than a figurehead.

“He asked about the heritage centre’s future plans and offered to use his contacts to create better links with the RAF museums at Hendon, Duxford and Cosford. Montrose could become the only RAF museum in Scotland.

“He hopes to be back in Montrose for the big event planned for August 12 to mark the completion of the BE2 aircraft, an exact replica of the first British aircraft to land in France in August 1914.

“He was impressed with what has been achieved at Montrose and was able to talk to many of our volunteers including Dave Oswald, our oldest member who was in the RAF before Sir David was born.”

Last week, Mr Oswald, who was based at Kinnaber during the Second World War, received an honorary medal from the Norwegian Government for role in cracking Nazi codes during the war.

Sir David, became station commander at RAF Halton in 1997, director of corporate communications for the RAF in 1998 and director of personnel and training policy in 2002.

He went on to be Air Officer commanding the RAF Training Group in 2003 before retiring in 2004. In retirement he has served as Master of the Queen’s Household and is vice-patron of the Royal International Air Tattoo.