Please note that the dates for these tours may vary from the guide below. No tours will be offered until international borders are open.
A special day, it certainly was!!
Our first visit was a programmed visit to RAF Scampton which is the home of the Red Arrows, the RAF Aerobatic Team. RAF Scampton is an operational airfield and we had to have a security pass plus an escort while we were on the field. Dave, from the Heritage Centre met us at the gate and escorted us to the centre for our visit.
We started with a security briefing and an administrative briefing before being taken up the stairs to Guy Gibson's room, the one he used at Scampton while he was there commanding 617 Sqn. Also, many who remember the Dam Busters movie may recall that in the movie his office was on the ground floor, that was incorrect, it was on the first floor overlooking the airfield.
We were advised that the Red Arrows may be up today practising for future displays and if they move we would get ample time to go to see them perform. The way that they were laid out together on the edge of the tarmac in one neat row was indicative of the way they fly. Our escorted tour through the Museum continued until we heard that the Red Arrows were to have a few practice runs at their programme had us head towards the tarmac. The "private display" put on by the Red Arrows was unbelievably spectacular.
Following that breathtaking experience we said farewell to Patrick and moved on to our next appointment. That appointment was with the Heritage Centre at Waddington, another airfield that required a security inspection but following that we went with the escort to view the artefacts within the Heritage Centre.
Frank Harrington's father Patrick was a member of 463 Sqn and operated out of Waddington so it was special for him to visit the airfield. Frank had some photos, photos and notes that he left with Jimmy, the guide from the Heritage Centre. This was quite a moving moment for Frank.
We left Waddington and headed out to East Kirby to view the 'other' Lancaster. This was a catch up from yesterday when we ran out of time to complete the whole programme. An excellent Museum, quite different than most others we see.
Another big day and we are looking forward to Duxford tomorrow. But first, the long run into Bedford where we will be staying the next 3 nights.