Plan your own Lincolnshire Aviation trail

I read recently that Lincoln is “the perfect base to explore Lincolnshire’s rich aviation heritage”. Well “perfect” is debatable – Lincoln is a fine city, but why not avoid the city crowds and make Woodhall Spa your Lincolnshire aviation trail base?

For instance, where else can you stay and dine in a hotel which was home to the 617 “Dambusters” Squadron in 1942, complete with the original officers’ mess? The Squadron Bar at the Petwood Hotel features a range of memorabilia and tributes to Guy Gibson VC, Leonard Cheshire VC and their Officers, and so is itself an aviation hotspot, often overlooked in tourist articles.

There are other advantages, apart from peace and quiet. Woodhall Spa is nearer than Lincoln to some key aviation destinations, such as the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight at RAF Coningsby, the Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre and Thorpe Camp. Other must-do aviation attractions a little farther afield, such as the Newark Air Museum or Cranwell Aviation Heritage Centre, are within easy reach by car. You are less likely to get snarled up in city traffic than you would be in Lincoln, which is a nightmare right now with the building of the new bus station complex.

So, to help you plan your ideal Lincolnshire aviation trail, here are some useful links, and a memorable video: Continue reading


From the Woodhall Spa notice boards, January 2016

Even though it’s the low season just now and we all need a good reason for venturing out, my more-or-less monthly notice board trawl has yielded some interesting results:



Organist Paul Carman is the featured entertainer at Music For Woodhall on January 19th at 7.30 pm, in St Peter’s Church Hall. Tickets are available from Philip Groves, 01526 353225, and they are priced at £5 for members, £7 for non-members. More information from the Horncastle News. Here’s an example of Paul’s laid-back jazz style:

Photo courtesy United Methodist Church, ConingsbyThe Woodhall, Coningsby, Tattershall and District History Society are keen to attract new members and the best way to try it out is to turn up at their next meeting on January 13th, at 7.30 pm. Continue reading

Unusual Petwood wartime souvenir featured on Antiques Roadshow

On May 28th this year, the Petwood’s Director Emma Brealey was invited by the BBC for a TV interview at the Battle of Briain Memorial Flight, RAF Coningsby. She met  Antiques Roadshow presenter Fiona Bruce, taking along an unusual antique – a Russian pine branch which became impaled in a Lancaster bomber during World War II.

The incident happened after refuelling in Northern Russia during the 1944 RAF raid on the German battleship ‘Admiral von Tirpitz’, made in Norway by 29 Lancasters of Nos 9 and 617 Squadrons. Emma told the story behind this wartime antique, and explained its connection with the Petwood Hotel:

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Heritage open days on our patch this weekend

Heritage-open-days_logoHeritage Open Days is England’s biggest heritage festival, involving 40,000 volunteers. It celebrates our history, architecture and culture, offering you the chance to see hidden places and try out new experiences – all of which are free to explore. Every year on four days in September, buildings of every age, style and function throw open their doors.

It is a once-a-year chance to discover the often hidden or forgotten gems on our doorsteps. There are lots of them in our area this weekend, so here is the long list.


Walk with Sir Joseph Banks. Starting at the Banks Centre take a walk round the town visiting all the places associated with Sir Joseph Banks. The walk lasts approximately an hour. Details. Continue reading

Battle of Britain planes fly over Buckingham Palace

Wartime planes such as Spitfires, Hurricanes and the Lancaster bomber belonging to the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, stationed at nearby RAF Coningsby, are a fairly common sight over Woodhall Spa, but in the summer they are often away on displays around the UK and Europe. A week ago BBMF Spitfires and Hurricanes flew with Typhoons from Coningsby to Buckingham Palace, for a flypast to mark the 75th anniversary of the start of the Battle of Britain.

The Queen watched the planes fly overhead from the balcony of Buckingham Palace, along with the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince William and other members of the royal family. This film coverage by Indian TV channel Patrika is the best I have come across, showing the entire event:

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