Thorpe Camp Visitor Centre ready for wartime nostalgia

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The Thorpe Camp Visitor Centre, near Tattershall, will be the venue for a special event on Wednesday, April 30 from 1pm-5pm.

The Nottingham based heritage arts company, Excavate, will be gathering stories and memories from those whose lives were connected with the wartime endeavour of Bomber Command.

Next year will see the opening of the Bomber Command Memorial and Interpretation

Centre in Lincoln.

As part of this, the University of Lincoln is looking to work with Excavate to produce a series of performances that tell the story of Bomber Command in Lincolnshire - and its impact on the county.

Organisers are particularly interested in looking at the effect of the arrival of the airfields and aircrew on the towns and villages in which they were situated.

There has been a great deal of work done on gathering the stories of former aircrew, but it is hoped to look at the relationship between Bomber Command and the people of Lincolnshire.

A spokesman said: “Did you, or one of your family, live near one of the 27 Bomber

Command Airfields?

“Maybe at Woodhall Spa, Binbrook, or Wickenby, or Waddington, or one of the many other sites across the county?

“Perhaps you danced with pilots in the evening; watched the planes fly over the fields you were working on; or had some other connection with the men and the work that they undertook.

“If you have a story, however small, or if you have a family tale to tell, then we would be really interested in meeting and talking to you.

“Next year is going to be a very important one for those connected with Bomber Command and any information you can share with us will be invaluable.”

Thorpe Camp Visitor Centre, situated on the B1192 Woodhall Spa to Coningsby road in the village of Tattershall Thorpe, was originally part of No.1 Communal Site, RAF Woodhall Spa, a typical World War Two bomber airfield.

Opened in 1942, it was the home of four bomber squadrons during the war years. 97, 619, 617, the famous ‘Dambusters’, operated Avro Lancasters, while 627 Squadron operated DeHavilland Mosquitos. All four squadrons flew operational missions from the airfield before it was closed for flying in 1945.

In 1988, the site was derelict and ear-marked for demolition which resulted in the formation of the Thorpe Camp Preservation Group.

They had plans to restore the site and create a visitor centre depicting the story of the airfield and its squadrons, together with civilian life in Lincolnshire during World War Two. The centre, now in its 26th year, is managed on a voluntary basis by members of the Thorpe Camp Preservation Group Ltd, a charitable company and a registered charity.

The centre is open to the public every Sunday and Bank Holiday from Easter to October and on Wednesdays in July and August. Opening times are 1pm-5pm.

On April 30, all the centre’s facilities will be open and refreshments will be available.

*To find out more please contact Andy Barrett or Julian Hanby in the following ways:

Email – andy@excavate.org.uk or julian@excavate.org.uk

Telephone – Andy Barrett 0115 844 9612/07986 594395

n For further information regarding Thorpe Camp Visitor Centre contact Mike Hodgson on 01526 342249