THE memory of an ex-RAF base dubbed the spiritual home of The Few will be preserved after a contract was signed last night.

A museum in memory of the fighter pilots whose couraged turned the tide of World War Two will sit in the most historic rooms of Bentley Priory, in The Common, Stanmore.

Barratt Developments signed the contract for a housing development, including 103 houses and flats as councillors approved a planning application for the project.

The development will fund the museum, which will be built by City and Country and run by the RAF Bentley Priory Battle of Britain Trust.

Air Chief Marshal Sir Brian Burridge, chairman of the trust, said: “This represents the culmination of five year’s hard work to ensure that the priory and all that it stands for in our history has a sustainable future as a museum and centre for education about the people, technology and leadership that bought us victory in the Battle of Britain, arguably the most pivotal battle of World War Two.

“There is now much work to do in fundraising and Churchill would have recognised that for the Trust, ‘this is not the beginning of the end, merely the end of the beginning’.”

The trust must now raise at least £1 million towards the project, although some believe the figure needed could be closer to £2m.

The plans will require developer VSM Estates to pay £200,000 to the start up costs of the museum and a maximum of £6,240,000 towards the renovation of the Grade II* listed mansion house, where the museum will be based.