Lincolnshire's Poacher Country

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Lincolnshire, known as the Bomber or RAF County, has had strong connections with military flying since the Great War. From when World War II was declared, planes flew in active service from 10 new Lincolnshire airfields, and by the end of the war there were 49 airfields, 28 of them bomber bases - more than any other county in the UK.


It was the 617 Squadron who flew to make the legendary Dambusters Raid on the 16th May 1943. Memorabilia from this famous Squadron and their important mission can be seen in Woodhall Spa at the Petwood House Hotel, (which was once the 617 Squadron's Officers' Mess) and also at The Cottage Museum. In this large Edwardian village also stands the impressive 'Dambusters' Memorial in Royal Square (commemorating the men of the 617 Squadron who died on operations between 1943 and 1945).


Only a few miles from Woodhall Spa is RAF Coningsby. It is here that the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, formed in 1957 to commemorate the Royal Air Force's major battle honour, is now based and includes a Lancaster, five Spitfires, two Hurricanes and a Dakota. These aircraft are still flying and their beauty and power are demonstrated at many major shows all over the UK. Here at Coningsby you can take the opportunity to see these fine aeroplanes in the hangars where the technicians work on them.


Near to Spilsby is Lincolnshire's Aviation Heritage Centre at East Kirkby. The museum is based at the former airfield of Five Group Bomber Command, and has its very own Avro Lancaster Bomber, Just Jane. On special days the Lancaster can be seen taxiing up and down the runway. The Control Tower has been restored to its original condition and the surrounding buildings are crammed with a wealth of memorabilia, nostalgia and history relating to the war. This is a splendid museum which enthrals visitors of all ages.


There are glimpses of aviation heritage all around the area, smaller museums, tributes and memorials to these wartime heroes that gave their lives for their country. The Church of St. Mary & St. Gabriel, in the Wolds village of Binbrook, has some memorials to the RAF and several military graves in the churchyard and the Thorpe Camp Preservation Group has set up a Visitor Centre at Ex-RAF Woodhall Spa that depicts the story of the RAF station and shows civilian life in wartime Lincolnshire.
Memorial at Woodhall Spa
Lancaster at East Kirkby
Spitfire at Lincs Aviation Heritage Centre
Radio Room at Lincolnshire Aviaition Heritage Centre
In the cockpit
landrover at East Kirkby