Sector Ops Museum
The restoration of the museum
The idea to restore RAF Digby’s former Sector Operations room bunker to it’s former wartime glory came in April 1995. A small but dedicated team of 4 personnel then set about the task of research, scrounging period items and dismantling the more contemporary furniture within the building. The search for furniture and communications equipment went far and wide. We 'liberated' items from RAF Carlisle, RAF Quedgeley, RAF Scampton, RAF Syerston, Ouston Barracks and many more places in-between. The pace of work picked up in 1996, as did the number of the restoration team. In the final 6 months, prior to the opening on 30 May 1997, many long evenings were spent by our dedicated volunteers. The end result of this effort was the grand opening ceremony, performed by Air Chief Marshal Sir John Allison, on 30 May 1997. Work continues on improving, adding to and on general maintenance of the museum. The museum receives no official funding from 'tax payers', but relies upon donations from visitors; while guides are all volunteer servicemen and women, working in their own off duty time. The museum is free to view but donations are our 'life blood' and allow us to improve the displays year on year. Further details on the museum can be obtained by contacting the museum curator.
The Sector Operations room museum has featured on local and national television. It was first featured on local news magazine programmes of BBC Look North, BBC East Midlands and ITV.
It was given prominent coverage on BBC’s Adam Hart-Davis’ 'Hart-Davis on History' in 1998, the BBC documentary 'Finest Hour' and also as a set for part of the Battle of Britain celebrations for 'Songs of Praise' (screened on 17 Sep 00).
During the latter, two of our veterans, Eric Soar (504 Sqn) and Harry Bower (Ops room plotter) spoke to Pam Rhodes on camera and gave accounts of their wartime experiences. Pam Rhodes began her television career working for the British Forces Broadcasting Service.
The museum has also been featured on local radio and on BBC Radio 4.
The Royal Air Force Digby Sector Operations room Museum has been set up to pay tribute to all those who served and fought during the Second World War. Lest we forget!
Sector room exhibits:
At midnight on 2nd September 1939 Great Britain issued an ultimatum to Germany and on the following day Neville Chamberlain broadcast to the nation that a state of war existed between Great Britain and Germany.
On duty on 3 September 1939, within the Traffic and Receiving Room of the Operations room at RAF Digby, was 19 years old AC2 Charles Mayhew. Shortly after midday, he received a signal over the 12 Group teleprinter circuit and brought it to the attention of the Duty Fighter Controller. The Fighter Controller briefed the Operations staff and broadcast the information to the station, 'War has broken out with Germany'. The signal was returned to Charles Mayhew, who was then expected to file the signal or destroy it. Instead, he took one of the copies and held onto it for the next 58 years. When the RAF Digby Operations room museum opened in May 1997, Charles Mayhew returned and presented us with a unique document marking the moment when our station went to war. This document is on display today.
Other exhibits include:
- Scale Models
- Every day items from the era
- RAF Documents
- Merlin engine from 46 Sqn
- Engine from Hurricane aircraft
- 1660 HCU Lancaster engine
- Lancaster bomb sight
- Contemporary radio equipment
- Squadron histories
- Operation record books
- Recordings of aircraft and speeches
- Examples of 'Pipsqueak' and 'Coceral'
Sundays throughout the summer.
From 1st Sunday in May – To 1st Sunday in October
There is no need to book, just arrive at the Sports Ground Car Park opposite Digby main gate situated on the B1191 between the A15 and Scopwick, south of Lincoln. The tour will depart promptly so please arrive in good time.
The Ops Room is accessible to wheelchairs.
Find us on Google Maps
Further Details may be obtained from the Visits Coordinator:
Tel: 01526 327272 (8am - 5pm Monday to Friday)
The Sleaford Tourist Information Centre, Money's Yard, Sleaford, Lincs
Tel: 01529 414294.