A VISIT TO THE INTERNATIONAL BOMBER COMMAND CENTRE

Despite Tuesday 1st October being depressingly wet, windy and a mite chilly, a small but hardy group of us, led by Sharon Rupp, mustered at the Bomber Command Centre on Canwick Hill, above the city. We were given a tour around the site by a most informative guide. The Peace Gardens, with a tree planted for each Lincolnshire bomber station, are now beginning to mature and will be delightful.

The centrepiece, of course, is that unmissable Memorial Spire, a steel structure 102ft high, equalling the wingspan of the Lancaster bomber which was the mainstay of the 27 bomber command stations in Lincolnshire during WW2. In total, over 8000 bombers were lost or destroyed, with almost 58,000 lives lost. Each of those names is recorded on a series of curved steel walls surrounding the Spire.

An eloquent piece of statuary close to the Exhibition Centre carries the plea ‘Recognition. Remembrance. Reconciliation.’

There are three galleries in the exhibition hall, with interactive displays, where you learn what it must have been like for those airmen and women, air and ground crew, much of it based on personal documents, recordings, interviews and photographs stored in their massive archive., and there are some heartwarming stories. For those of us old enough to have at least some memory of the war, the exhibition can hit hard, but this is only another good reason to make the visit.

Thank you, Sharon, for arranging the visit. The guided tour around the memorial and gardens was really enlightening and though the amount of time spent in the exhibition was up to each of us, there are bound to be some of us returning for a second helping of this absorbing experience

Visitors are welcome to just walk around the grounds, dogs on a lead are also welcome (bowls of water are provided), it’s child-friendly, and the cafe serves excellent coffee. The chocolate-dipped shortbread comes highly recommended.

by Dallas Stubbings

NB All those who paid have had their Annual Pass application submitted (SR)

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