Churchill with a Spitfire from Castle Bromwich, credit Philip Insley, CBAF Archive Vickers Archive Syndics

Science Museum kicks off Churchill celebrations

Simon Stephens, 28.01.2015
Venues in the UK and abroad mark 50th anniversary of his death
An exhibition in London about Winston Churchill’s passion for science has kicked off a series of events marking this year’s 50th anniversary of the death of the former British prime minister.

Churchill’s Scientists at the Science Museum focuses on the statesman’s lifelong enthusiasm for the subject and the achievements of those scientists who helped Britain win world war two.

“Winston Churchill understood the importance of science to the nation’s prosperity in a way that those who preceded him didn’t,” said Jean Franczyk, the deputy director of the Science Museum. “He also understood the importance of education in inspiring the next generation of scientists, which is something that is important to us here at the Science Museum.”

Andrew Nahum, the lead curator for Churchill’s Scientists, said: “Bernard Lovell [English physicist and radio astronomer] said that in the war no one ever asked how much it would cost, they only asked can you do it and when can we have it. Part of the message of the exhibition is that four or five years of high intensity research work left a cadre of people with excellent contacts who had done outstanding things and would help solve problems in the postwar world.”

The exhibition forms part of Churchill 2015, which features a range of events celebrating the life of the former prime minster, who died on 24 January 1965.

The National Railway Museum in York, which is part of the Science Museum Group, will open Churchill’s Final Journey on 30 January. This will display the museum’s Winston Churchill locomotive to mark the 50th anniversary of his state funeral.

Another Science Museum Group venue, the National Media Museum in Bradford, has an online display of photographs of Churchill from the Daily Herald newspaper archive.

Elsewhere, the National Trust is marking the anniversary with an exhibition at Chartwell, Churchill’s family home in Kent. There is also a Churchill exhibition at Blenheim Palace, where he was born.

The Musée de l’Armée in Paris is hosting an exhibition, Churchill - de Gaulle, from 10 April to 26 July.