I’m pleased to announce that my new book, The Complete Dambusters, will be published by History Press on 1 May.
“On 16 May 1943, nineteen Lancaster aircraft from the RAF’s 617 Squadron set off to attack the great dams in the industrial heart of Germany. Flying at a height of 60ft, they dropped a series of bombs which bounced across the water and destroyed two of their targets, thereby creating a legend. The one-off operation combined an audacious method of attack, technically brilliant flying and visually spectacular results, but while the story of the raid is well known, most of the 133 men who took part in the raid are just names on a list. They came from all parts of the UK and the Commonwealth and beyond, and each of them was someone’s son or brother, husband or father. This is the first book to present their individual stories.” Continue reading →
Adult Education Horncastle are hosting a Festival of Talks 2018, starting in April. “This year we celebrate each of the 100 years of the RAF. QEGS Horncastle continues on its well established and glorious journey alongside the RAF in Lincolnshire. Being well placed in the centre of the county QEGS has welcomed hundreds of air force children through its doors, where it has nurtured them for however long their parents have been stationed in the area. In Adult Ed we do our part and help with training to ease the way back to Civvy Street. Many members of staff continue to have affiliation with the RAF. We celebrate them all! Keep a look out on all media for updates…”
Click on the poster below to enlarge in a new window:
“News…..from the appeal for a memorial near the spot on the Dutch coast where Melvin Young’s AJ-A was shot down returning from the Dams Raid, early in the morning of Monday 17 May 1943. Local organiser Jan van Dalen has announced that the appeal has now raised over €4600, and that a local stonemason has been commissioned.
The unveiling of the memorial will take place at 11.00 am local time on Friday 18 May 2018, at Castricum aan Zee.”Full details
Every time I drive down Kirkby Lane to or from Woodhall Spa I wonder what is going on in the aftermath of the discovery four months ago of mustard gas canisters in nearby woodland. The security hut is still there, and the area is still cordoned off. Fortunately East Lindsey District Council is still keeping us in the loop. Here’s the latest:
Update January 16, 2018
“We have now received the results from the water and soil sampling undertaken by the MOD’s Scientific Testing Laboratories (DSTL). Over 200 samples were taken and all have come back clear of mustard gas and other chemical weapon contaminants. Some works on the site, such as filling in the trenches and removing equipment, still need to be undertaken before the site can be returned to the owners. Until these works are complete fencing and a security patrol will remain on site. We will update the community further in due course. Continue reading →
Charles Foster reports that Peter Jackson’s remake of the 1955 film The Dam Busters, which has now been on the cards for almost 15 years, has been further delayed as the director now concentrates on his current movie project to bring new life to film footage shot during the First World War, held in the Imperial War Museum’s archives.
The film will premiere at the BFI London film festival, where it will be shown in 3D, before being shown on BBC One and sent to all schools for the 2018 autumn term
Charles takes a somewhat dim view of this news: “Everyone would agree that this is a very worthy venture, and that it will also showcase the cinematic techniques for which the Jackson team is justifiably famous. However, anyone with an interest in a certain other project which is supposed to be in his studio’s pipeline will feel more than a little deflated that this would now appear to be his priority. We are, of course, talking about the remake of the 1955 film The Dam Busters, which has now been on the cards for almost 15 (yes 15!) years.”
If you have ever had Sunday lunch at the Petwood, you most your dining experience will have been accompanied on the piano by the talented Helen Clarke, resident pianist since 1997. She tells us that you can now preview her recording of “Unchained Melody” on Apple Music and download the classic via her home page.