Bomber Command memorial spire installed in Lincoln
The International Bomber Command Centre (IBCC) held its Memorial Spire Unveiling ceremony on Friday 2nd October with an audience of 2,600 guests. The event hosted over 300 World War Two Bomber Command Veterans, estimated to be the biggest single gathering for these gentlemen for 50 years, and is likely to be the last.
Guests were treated to a wide range of impressive flypasts covering World War Two through to the present day. However, one of the star attractions was missing.
In May this year the City of Lincoln Lancaster, also known as Thumper III, from the RAF Coningsby based, Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (BBMF) suffered a catastrophic engine fire rending it out of action across the normally busy summer period. The other aircraft of the BBMF stood in at numerous engagements across the country.
The Memorial Spire Unveiling was due to see the City of Lincoln's return to service but a problem during ground testing, despite the incredible efforts of the BBMF engineers, meant this was not possible.
However Thumper passed the air test on Monday 12th October and will be making ts first official engagement a flypast over the IBCC Memorial Spire at 11.00, in tribute to the 55,573 men lost whilst serving in Bomber Command.
To witness this very special event will be 93 year old Groundcrew veteran, Donald Nicholson, who lost his medals on the way to the unveiling event and whose story touched so many hearts. Donald was devastated not to be wearing his medals at the event and, following the medals safe return after an intensive media campaign, will now be able to wear them with pride at the Spire and honour Thumper's triumphant return to the skies.The largest gathering of Bomber Command veterans in recent times were welcomed to Canwick Hill in Lincoln for the official unveiling ceremony of the IBCC memorial spire and walls of names.
A 98ft (30m) high metal spire has been erected at the site of a memorial for World War Two aircrews.
The structure is the first stage of a project to build a visitor centre and memorial in Canwick Hill, Lincoln, to commemorate the 55,500 servicemen who died serving Bomber Command.
The 55 tonne spire, made of weathered steel, was installed on Sunday.
The project will also see a peace garden and education centre
Chair of trustees for the International Bomber Command centre said it was a "significant moment".
Tony Worth said: "It is a major step forward because it is providing a visible sign that we are serious about this project.
"We will actually get something that people can see and show this is really going to happen."
Design for the interpretation centre
The design is based on the layout of a Lancaster bomber
The spire, which will stand higher than the Angel of North, has been made by a North Yorkshire company.
The project will also see a peace garden and walls installed with the names of all the servicemen.
Lincolnshire earned the title Bomber County because a third of all the UK's stations were based there.
The design is based on the layout of a