Our venues


Photo bmag

World class museum in the heart of Birmingham city centre.

Chamberlain Square

Birmingham, B3 3DH

0121 348 8038

Photo thinktank

Award-winning science museum for fun-packed family days out.

Millennium Point, Curzon Street

Birmingham, B4 7XG

0121 348 8000

Photo aston

Explore the splendour of one of the last great houses built in the Jacobean style.

Trinity Road, Aston

Birmingham, B6 6JD

0121 348 8100

Photo blakesley

Discover a fine Tudor house and beautiful gardens just a few miles from the heart of the city.

Blakesley Road

Birmingham, B25 8RN

0121 348 8120

Photo jewellery

A perfectly preserved workshop in Birmingham's Jewellery Quarter.

75-80 Vyse Street

Birmingham, B18 6HA

0121 348 8140

Photo sarehole

A 250 year old working watermill famous for its association with author J.R.R Tolkien.

Cole Bank Road

Birmingham, B13 0BD

0121 348 8160

Photo soho

Georgian home of the Birmingham industrialist, Matthew Boulton.

Soho Avenue (off Soho Road)

Birmingham, B18 5LB

0121 348 8150

Photo weoley

The ruins of an exquisite fortified manor house built 750 years ago.

Alwold Road

Birmingham, B29

0121 348 8160

17 Sep 2015

The Overlooked Fighter

75 years ago the Battle of Britain was at its fiercest. German bombers had struck at cities and aerodromes across the British Isles and the Royal Air Force was fighting back against huge odds. On 15th September 1940 bomber attacks could start again after a few days of cloudy weather. Their crews had been told the RAF was a spent force and could provide no opposition. To their horror the bombers were met by hundreds of Spitfires and Hurricanes. Losses were high and the Battle was effectively decided; there would be no invasion of Britain in 1940. The Sunday nearest to 15th September is still celebrated by the RAF as Battle of Britain Day.

Most people associate the Spitfire with the events of 1940. The most numerous modern fighter plane in the RAF’s armoury was actually the Hurricane which looked similar but belonged to an earlier age of aeroplane design. Hurricanes were not as fast Spitfires but were still effective combat machines. They were easier to build and repair and more forgiving for inexperienced pilots to fly.

Hawker Hurricane Mark IV KX829 at Thinktank, Birmingham Science Museum painted as Hurricane Mark 1 P3395/ JX-B of 1 Squadron RAF. © David Evetts

At Thinktank we have both a Spitfire and a Hurricane on display. The Hurricane was built in 1943 but is currently painted to represent a machine of 1940 from 1 Squadron RAF flown by Arthur Clowes. His personal wasp emblem is on the front of the aeroplane. 300 Hurricanes were built at the Austin works in Longbridge compared to around 12,000 Spitfires at Castle Bromwich.

Royal Air Force Fighter Command © Iwm (Ch 1570) Large 52949
Pilot Officer Arthur "Taffy" Clowes of No. 1 Squadron RAF. © IWM (CH 1570)