If you are based in or near the city of Lincoln, you are welcome to come along to a talk and signing session I am doing at the city’s Waterstone’s bookshop on Tuesday 10 July at 6.30pm. I will be telling some of the family stories I came across while researching my Complete Dambusters book as well as showing some pictures which weren’t used in the final publication. I will also be debunking some of the often-repeated mythical stories about how the men who took part in the Dams Raid were chosen.
It’s a shame that Budgens have removed their noticeboard, but there are still plenty of events on the others, so here’s our selection for the month ahead. Take your pick: a trip to the BBC Gardener’s World and Good Food Show, a Big Band Night, a Banovallum Brass Concert, organ music at St. Peter’s or a good old car boot sale. Up to you!
This month’s visiting organist at Music for Woodhall will be Ryan Edwards. “Ryan’s continued popularity on the circuit could be a result of his fresh approach to organ playing which is reflected in the variety of styles of music in his concert programme. He understands the need to awaken new interest in the organ especially in his generation by appealing to both traditional and modern tastes.” He will be on stage at St Peter’s Church Hall, Woodhall Spa, 7.30pm. Contact Philip Groves 01526 353225. Website
A fascinating new post from Charles Foster’s Dambusters Blog:
“It’s sad to have to report that the film director Michael Anderson died on Wednesday night, at the age of 98. He was best known to readers of this blog as the director of the 1955 film, The Dam Busters, but this was just part of his long career in the film business. At the time of his death he was the oldest living Oscar nominee for best director.”
“By the early 1950s, he was under contract as a director to Britain’s biggest film studio, Associated British Pictures, for whom he would eventually produce five films. ABP had bought the rights to Paul Brickhill’s best-selling book, The Dam Busters and commissioned a script from the writer of Journey’s End, R C Sherriff. Anderson was selected as director”
“What is not widely known………is that the film was nearly scuppered by a contractual dispute with Guy Gibson’s widow, Eve, after the shooting was completed. Continue reading →
Fred Sutherland unveils portrait in Alberta: ” Great to see a new photograph of Fred Sutherland, looking well. Last Thursday, in his home town of Rocky Mountain House in Alberta, Canada, Fred unveiled a new portrait of himself, painted by Dan Llewelyn Hall. This is one of the 133 portraits painted by Dan to honour all the men who took part in the Dams Raid.” Continue reading →
The brand new high-definition restoration of the classic Dam Busters film is being premiered as one of the official opening events for the International Bomber Command Centre in Lincoln on Saturday 14 April. If you can’t get to Lincoln for this showing of the film, it will be screened again on Thursday 17 May, in a simulcast from the Royal Albert Hall, which you can catch at the Kinema in the Woods, Woodhall Spa, the Playhouse, Louth, the Savoy, Boston and other cinemas in our area. Booking here.
For the restoration, STUDIOCANAL went back to the original 1954 camera negative and sound negative. They have produced a 4K DCP, UHD version and a new HD version to the same high technological standards as today’s biggest international film releases.
When you join the RAF Memorial Flight Club, here’s what you will get straight away:
Visitor guide – the official guide to the RAF Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (BBMF) and its historic aircraft
Latest Club magazine – behind-the-scenes news and images from the Flight, plus some fascinating wartime history
Aircraft data sheets – specifications of the Spitfire, Hurricane, Lancaster and Dakota
Member gifts – a membership card, pin badge, car sticker, wall planner, poster and pen.
Free aircraft hangar tours – show your membership card at the BBMF Visitor Centre, RAF Coningsby, Lincolnshire and you can claim a free tour of the aircraft hangar. A tour normally costs £7 for adults.
Automatic entry into a monthly members’ ballot to win exclusive prizes such as VIP visits to the BBMF at RAF Coningsby, tickets to a BBMF flying-display event, prints and artwork signed by BBMF pilots, memorabilia signed by BBMF pilots, books, DVDs and other merchandise.
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 →