Meet the Lads from Fowlmere
David and his father run the Fowlmere Joinery in the building where the museum is located. Dave's father was looking for a place to set up shop in the early 1970s. He spoke to the landownwer, Martin Sheldrick, then rented and converted one of the remaining Nissen huts. At an early age, Dave began exploring the land around the shop with a metal detector and became interested in the artifacts he had dug up. Soon he started researching the pictures and people in the landowner's scrapbook. The idea for the museum was born when several veterans and their family members would show up to see where their fathers and grandfathers had served. He had hung several pictures up in the shop, but it soon became impractical to receive visitors during working hours.
Mark moved to Manor Farm with his grandparents when he was eight years old. The abandoned hangars, hardstands, and huts were his childhood playground. Mark worked on the farm for over 25 years and also became interested in the artifacts he found or dug up. Along with Dave, he became passionate about "digging up history" around the former airfield. They began finding ammunition, WW1 bombs, bits of WW1 aircraft, P-51 parts, even a set of pilot's wings. Mark kept speaking to the landowner and eventually got permission to open a museum to display the artifacts they had found. Mark is also a passionate and accomplished photographer, and has added countless pictures to the collection through his research.
Perhaps the person most closely associated with the site of the airfield is Henry, who grew up there in what was then the Polish Resettlement Camp after the war. He became interested in the stories and histories of the Polish families who had lived on the site and in the surroundings of Fowlmere. One day he walked into the joinery and so became the third member of the museum team, helping to convert the second room of the Nissen hut where the museum is located. Henry has collected a fascinating number of artifacts, costumes, pictures, and stories from his own family and other Polish families, which are on display in a corner of the museum especially dedicated to this chapter in the airfield's history. He has also published a book of images and stories about those times in the camp.