Take a look at how the city of Lincoln is marking the Centenary of the RAF this year.
International Bomber Command Centre
Over 57,000 men gave their lives to Bomber Command defending the country during WW2: that’s more than serve in the entire Royal Air Force today. Take time to see the 31-metre tall Memorial Spire and its surrounding Wall of Names, or visit the Chadwick Visitor Centre to hear stories about the young men who helped win the war.
The Red Arrows
See for yourself the world’s premier aerobatic display team at RAF Scampton performing their trademark Diamond Nine formation. Having performed displays in 56 countries, they are regularly seen practising over the skies of Lincolnshire – giving you a glimpse of their aerobatic talents that have become a firm fixture of British events.
Lincolnshire, Bastion in the Air 1915-18
One-off exhibitions re-create a Royal Flying Corps airfield in the Dambusters’ hangar at RAF Scampton, and tell the story of Lincolnshire’s contribution to First World War aviation at The Collection.
Airman’s Chapel in Lincoln Cathedral
The Airmen’s Chapel of St Michael sits within Lincoln Cathedral and houses a memorial book and beautiful stained glass windows. The Chapel’s four windows are decorative memorials to Bomber Command, Flying Training Command, the Royal Rhodesian Air Force and Royal New Zealand Air Force.
Pick up a handy Aviation Trail which guides you around seven key sites. Highlights include RAF Waddington, and a rare mural of the Royal Flying Corps crest. This was the air arm of the British Army before and during WW1; it merged with the Royal Naval Air Service in 1918 to form the Royal Air Force.
Guy Gibson’s Office
Wing Commander Gibson led the ‘Dambusters’ raid in 1943 from his base at RAF Scampton, just hours after his black Labrador was killed. Before taking off for the Ruhr Dams, he left instructions for his companion to be buried outside his office. His office laid empty for more than half a century, but was recently restored and now forms part of the RAF Scampton Heritage Centre.
The ‘Pilot Poet’ John Magee
Magee’s posthumous fame rests with his poem ‘High Flight’, which he wrote before his death in a mid-air collision over Lincolnshire in 1941. As he orbited and climbed to 33,000 ft, he was struck by words “to touch the face of God”. Over 70 years later, ‘High Flight’ has become a favourite poem among aviators and astronauts. It is the official poem of the Royal Canadian Air Force and the Royal Air Force, and was read by President Ronald Reagan following the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster. Visit his final resting place at Scopwick Cemetery.
Lincoln Castle’s Observatory Tower
During the Second World War, Civil Defence volunteers, equipped with binoculars and just a tin hat for protection, kept a look out from for enemy aircraft in the skies using Lincoln Castle’s 19th Century Observatory Tower. Re-trace their steps and see spectacular views across the city from a new Medieval Wall Walk and restored Observatory Tower.
Travel back in time for Lincoln’s ‘1940s Day’ to see the city transformed with vintage stalls and shop windows, plus live music and street entertainment. Or explore Lincoln’s engineering heritage and future innovation at the SPARK Engineering Festival at Lincoln Cathedral.