Air station hits new heights

Volunteers from Montrose Air Station are pictured with invited guests David Oswald, Ness Van and Jack Drummond at the official opening of the 1917 RFC hut.'Gable End Photography
Volunteers from Montrose Air Station are pictured with invited guests David Oswald, Ness Van and Jack Drummond at the official opening of the 1917 RFC hut.'Gable End Photography

VETERANS took centre stage at Montrose Air Station Heritage Centre on Saturday when they opened two new buildings restored over the last year by volunteers.

A former motor transport hut, which dates back to the air stations roots in 1917, has been restored to life as the centre’s new reception and shop. It also accommodates an authentic 1940s house and was opened by veteran Dave Oswald, who was stationed at RAF Montrose during the Second World War and also served at the air force’s secret listening post at Kinnaber.

The enlarged 1940s house was opened by Ness Vann, who features in the museum’s ‘Romance at RAF Montrose’ display. She met her future husband, Bill, when he was training at Montrose to be a fighter pilot.

With the opening of the new John Betty Library and Research Centre, the air station is now home to the largest collection of aviation books outside the national library. Named after Squadron Leader John Betty, Chief Flying Instructor at RAF Montrose in the war years, the centre was opened by Jack Drummond, who was posted to RAF Montrose in 1937 and knew John Betty.

Curator Daniel Paton said: “The new buildings mark an important point in the development of the heritage centre. It now has much better facilities for visitors including audio guides and it is a much bigger attraction than a few years ago.”