Only weeks away now for that weekend when Woodhall Spa once again rolls out the time machine and sets the dial to the1940s. This year the festival is scheduled for the third weekend in July – 15 / 16th, so if you enjoy flypasts, parades, period costumes, big band music and the like, all to be found in one of the most attractive villages in Lincolnshire, then you know where to be that weekend.
Sincere congratulations to Charles Foster, creator and doughty editor of the Dambusters Blog, which has just passed the million hits mark. In noting this achievement, Charles comments on the enduring fascination of the Dambusters raid:
“I think the reason may be because although the raid itself is the stuff of legend, it also represents a bigger story: that of the ‘greatest generation’ who fought tyranny, came through the years of austerity which followed, and built a better society in which all could flourish.”
Many of those who today visit the Squadron Bar, our lovingly preserved 617 Squadron Officers’ Mess here at the Petwood Hotel, former home to those who flew in the 1943 raid, might agree. | Related posts
Alan Burgess has posted a fascinating tinted photograph of the Woodhall Spa Tea House in the Woods on the Old Lincolnshire Rural Photos Facebook Group, dated around 1909:
There’s also a similar photo on the Tea House home page, and lots more if you click on the history tab.
History: Continue reading
From Charles Foster, the Dambusters blog:
Before the trial of Alex Bateman, recently jailed for the theft of Flight Sergeant John Fraser’s logbook, the Metropolitan Police found a photo album belonging to Flight Officer Ken Earnshaw in Bateman’s London house. Both officers flew on the same Lancaster in the second world war.
Despite being found guilty, Bateman continues to maintain his innocence and refuses to disclose what happened to Fraser’s logbook, but the Earnshaw photo album will shortly be returned to its owner’s descendants in Canada.
After Bateman’s trial, the police entrusted the album to Shere Fraser Lowe, daughter of Flight Sergeant John Fraser, so that she could return it to the Earnshaw family. In two days time she will present the photo album to Earnshaw’s nephew Jim Heather at the Bomber Command Museum of Canada in Nanton, Alberta.
The Wolds Words Festival is back again in October, celebrating the rich, diverse and unique culture of rural Lincolnshire. This year Horncastle features for the first time, joining the traditional venues in Louth, Spilsby and Alford.
In Horncastle the Community Cinema Club offers film screenings in the Stanhope Hall on 19th October and 23rd November. For the details visit their website or email email@example.com. The club is operated for the benefit of the community by a small dedicated team of volunteers who aim to show a wide range of films. Tickets are available from The Horncastle Music Shop or on the door.
Elsewhere in East Lindsey Continue reading
The connection between RAF Dambusters Squadron 617 and Woodhall Spa is well known around here, and is nowhere more evident than in the Petwood Hotel itself, where in 1942 Dambuster crew, including Canadian, New Zealand, Australian and British Air Force personnel, were stationed. The Squadron Bar, virtually untouched since it served as the officers’ mess, remains a magnet for historians and anyone who, like me, as a boy, was thrilled by the Dambusters film when it came out in 1955.
I am now struck by the tenacity and dedication of those who keep the Dambusters reality alive, as evidenced not just by frequent guests and visitors, but also by numerous posts on social media and, in particular by the Dambusters Blog, written by Charles Foster, nephew of Dambuster pilot David Maltby. As well as logging fascinating biographical notes and reproducing numerous old photographs, the blog features some intriguing current stories, such as an unusual take on Barnes Wallis, the inventor of the famous bouncing bomb: Continue reading
Once again Woodhall Spa braces itself for the annual journey back in time that is Forties Weekend. This year the festival is scheduled for the weekend of July 16th. Mostly the fun is free; there is a charge of £5 for Park, Ride & Read and one or two concerts are ticket only. For all the latest news, visit the forties weekend home page. If you haven’t been before, here’s a taste from 2013: