THE WATTISHAM DOCUMENTARY...
Wattisham Station Heritage are excited to announce a new project for 2015:
“We are making a broadcast quality documentary about Wattisham Air Station, past and present – filming is now underway!”
Over the years, many visitors to the Museum have asked us numerous questions about the history of Wattisham, the air base, and the people who have lived and worked in and around the base.
So what better way to answer all those question than to have a professional documentary made? We have appointed Viewpoint Productions to work with us to make the programme. They have a background in producing history-related documentaries for the BBC, ITV and others, for which they’ve received Royal Television Society (RTS) awards, including Best Popular Factual Programme
( http://www.viewpointproductions.tv )
The documentary will focus on the historic heritage of Wattisham Airfield and have a large educational content so that young people can learn about the role Wattisham played during World War II, the Cold War Years and the role of the current custodians of the base, the Army.
Wattisham airfield has always been at the forefront of aviation history and technology, beginning with the Blenheim bombers of 107 and 110 squadrons delivering the first bombing raid of the Second World War on enemy shipping, the day after war was declared.
We are still in the early planning stage at the moment and much work has still to be done, but to give a flavour... the documentary is likely to begin with a short introduction to the current custodians:
We will then turn the clock back to 1937 when the men from the ministry arrived to map out the land area which the base would occupy, followed by landmark events like the construction of the base; the arrival of the RAF with the Blenheim light bomber; the American era, beginning with the 4th strategic air depot followed by the 479th fighter group "Riddles Raiders" flying the P38 Lightning and The P51 Mustang from Wattisham.
The programme will explore what happened after the War ended as Wattisham continued as a front line base of the RAF and the beginning of the Jet Age with the Gloster Meteor, Hawker Hunter and Gloster Javelin.
This will be followed by ‘he Cold War Years’with the English Electric Lightning and the McDonald Douglas Phantoms and the handover from the RAF in 1993 to the British Army Air Corps with the helicopter force flying the Gazelle, Westland Lynx and currently the AH-64 Apache Attack helicopter.
There will be some re-enactment to illustrate early events and a wide range of interviews, including, some of the pilots and families of those who were stationed on the base or worked here over the decades. Archive pictures and moving footage from the Museum Archive from across the eras will help illustrate the story.
The documentary will conclude with an insight into how the Army uses the base today and a look at the peacetime role it plays within the local community in and around Wattisham.
We feel there will be something for everyone. The programme is sure to evoke many memories and emotions for the service personnel and families of those who served at Wattisham during times of conflict. The film will serve as a lasting tribute to the Aviation Heritage of Wattisham.
We will keep you informed of how the production is progressing within this section of our web site.
As we have already mentioned, we are still at an early stage of the production and the time scale of the documentary will depend on our fundraising activities. They have already got off to a good start enabling us to start filming in 2015, but we still have a long way to go!
So, if you feel you would like to get involved by contributing stories, information, film or video footage or indeed make a donation, we would pleased to hear from you, in the first instance please contact us via our contacts form. (Click Here to go there)