There is good news for fans of Swindon's heritage as the propellor that used to be on the front of the RAFA club has found a new home. 

There were some concerns about its future after the Royal Air Force Association (RAFA) Club on Belle Vue Road closed its doors for the final time in April 2022. 

Then, shortly afterwards, the iconic propellor positioned on the outside wall that had greeted guests to the RAFA venue for many years was removed from view. 

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This led to a group of concerned Swindonians, including Carole Bent, Tony Robson and Neil Robinson to step in, and after making a proposal the RAFA club donated the important object to the Radnor Street Cemetery. 

Carole Bent added: "I'm so pleased that we were all able to come together as a group and find a new home for the propellor that pays tribute to the town's aviation roots, and I hope that future air cadets will be able to connect with it.

"We are all very grateful to the RAFA for donating the piece of history, and to Radnor Street Cemetery for agreeing to take it and look after it going forward."

Swindon Advertiser: Radnor Street Cemetery/Neil Lover.Radnor Street Cemetery/Neil Lover. (Image: Radnor Street Cemetery/Neil Lover.)

The propeller, which has been identified as belonging to an Airspeed Oxford – a trainer for RAF bomber aircrews, has now been installed in the cemetery chapel and will be unveiled by Air Commodore Tony Keeling OBE, Commandant Royal Air Force Air Cadets.

Mr Keeling said: "I’m delighted to see this propeller returned to display in Swindon. This is a visible celebration of the historic links between the town and the Royal Air Force. I am most grateful to the members of the local community who made this happen. Thank you."

The unveiling will take place during the next guided tour of the cemetery on Sunday, August 13, at 2pm. 

Following the unveiling, the walk will follow a military theme during which the tour will visit the graves of several airmen who served during both World Wars and are buried in the cemetery.

The cemetery has, in recent years, become a repository for rescued and recovered war memorials.

Ten years ago Mark Sutton was instrumental in seeing the Sanford Street School War Memorial removed to Radnor Street Cemetery Chapel from the then-empty school building where it was considered to be vulnerable.  

Then in 2015, a memorial to 19 Gorse Hill men who died during the First World War might also have been lost forever until rescued by Mark.

In subsequent years more plaques and memorials have been deposited in the cemetery chapel.