Heritage Centre Layout
The Heritage centre is a fully accredited museum located on the site of what was once RAF Montrose. It comprises of several buildings as detailed below.
Here you will find our Reception and Shop where you will be welcomed and given useful information for your visit. You will also view our ‘1940’s Room’ which will transport you back in time.
The MT (Mechanised Transport) Hut can be seen in some of the oldest pictures of the air station and dates back to around 1915. After the closure of the air station in 1952 the hut fell into a state of disrepair. In 2009 volunteers started restoring the hut and it was formally reopened on 5th May 2012.
The building is a category:C(S) Listed Building Historic Scotland Building ID: 38231
In April 2014, The Montrose Society presented the Heritage Centre with a ‘Civic Award for Excellence in Civic Design for the renovation of a World War II timber building to create a visitor reception area’.
Built in 1915 this was the former headquarters building of the air station and now holds several exhibitions. The building is a category:C(S) Listed Building Historic Scotland Building ID: 38229
Exhibition Room 1
Formerly the Commanding Officers office, there is a display on the theme of the Home Front during WWII
Exhibition Room 2
Is used for temporary displays and currently dedicated to the Spitfire and its history.
Exhibition Room 3
The largest display room tells the story of Montrose Air Station from its foundation in 1913 to its closure in 1952 and the people who served there. A large diorama shows the layout of the airfield in 1940.
Exhibition Room 4
A pilots bedroom in 1940.
Wartime Pillbox and Anderson Shelter
The pillbox dates from 1949 and was an important part of the defences at Montrose. The Anderson shelter was designed in 1938 by William Paterson and Oscar Carl (Karl) Kerrison in response to a request from the Home Office. It was named after Sir John Anderson, then Lord Privy Seal with special responsibility for preparing air-raid precautions immediately prior to the outbreak of World War II, and it was he who then initiated the development of the shelter. It was widely used by the civilian population during WWII
Jack Drummond Workshop and Store
This is named after LAC Jack Drummond who was posted to Montrose in 1937. The Nissen hut is used for restoration projects and houses working machinery. For safety reasons it is not open to the public.
John Betty Library and Research Centre
Named after Squadron Leader John Betty, former Chief Flying Instructor at RAF Montrose, the library houses the largest private collection of aviation books in Scotland and the Heritage Centre’s archives. It is accessible to visitors by arrangement and will eventually provide computer access to archives for family history research.
David Butler Building
This building, a Romney Hut funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, was named after David Butler who was a founding member of the Heritage Centre. After a several years on loan to a Transport Museum our ‘Green Goddess’ fire engine has returned and is once again on display here. The Green Goddess is the colloquial name for the Bedford RLHZ Self Propelled Pump, a fire engine used originally by the Auxiliary Fire Service (AFS). It was latterly held in reserve by the Home Office to be used for eceptional events such as the firemans strike in 1977 and 2002. They were eventually retired in 2004. Also on display is a T22 two seater training version of the Sea Vampire jet and a Link trainer. There is also information about Pilot Training including an interactive computer display and a Learning Zone for visits from local schools.
Lt. John Ross Robertson Building
Funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund the Robertson Building was opened by the Lord Lieutenant of Angus, Mrs Georgiana Osborne, on 3rd August 2014. The Heritage Centre’s WWI artefacts are displayed in the building together with an amazing full size replica B.E.2a aircraft, built by volunteers at the Heritage Centre. It represents No.471 of 2 Squadron RFC, flown by Lt Harvey-Kelly and the first aircraft to land in France at the start of WWI.
Also on display is our newly refurbished replica Sopwith Camel F.1. It represents No.B7320 which was flown by WWI fighter Ace Captain John Todd MBE MC DFC of 70 Squadron RFC. Together with the B.E.2a it makes an amazing sight and a fitting tribute to the brave pilots the Royal Flying Corps.
The Heritage Centre is the only place in Scotland where you can see both these iconic WWI aircraft.
The building is named after Lt John Ross Robertson who learned to fly at Montrose and was killed in action on his fourth mission 5 months later on 12th May 1917. He was buried by the Germans and the cross they made for his grave is now on display in the building. It stands as a memorial not just for Lt Robertson but to all the people who served at Montrose.
New Building for Aircraft Restoration
This new building was funded by the Heritage Lottery fund and will be used for aircraft restoration. Our rare Miles M.2H Hawk Major built in 1935, one of only two in the UK has been moved into our restoration building for work to begin on it. Originally registered as G-ADMW, it was delivered to Heston in 1935 then went on to fly with the Portsmouth Aero Club in 1939. It was then impressed into RAF service as DG590. The Miles Hawk is the fore-runner of the Miles Magister which was used at Montrose for pilot training during the second world war.
Burke’s Shed 1b
The three buildings leading up to the heritage centre are known as Burke’s Sheds and are of great historical importance. They were built at the end of 1913 to house the aircraft of No 2 Squadron RFC but are now owned by Angus Council and used commercially. In January 2019 the Heritage Centre entered into a long term agreement with the council for the use of Burke’s Shed 1b. The hangar is 160m from the Heritage Centre and currently has a Hawker Hunter jet on display which is kindly on loan from The RAF Museum.
For further information on Burke’s Sheds please click HERE.