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Tuesday, 28 May 2013

LANCASTER BOMBER RIDE

We had some Bank Holiday Antics!
A year ago we came upon the Lincolnshire Heritage Aviation Centre and watched some blokes get a taxy-ride (doesn't leave the ground)  on a Lancaster Bomber. I signed DJ up for this year as a 75th birthday present. His birthday is November but the weather will be dreadful then and this date was the only other one available. We booked into Branston Hall Hotel. Some good friends came too and we took off for the airfield on the Monday.
People wear lots of outfits from WW2 and vintage times. No-one really needed the nurse and the other uniform looks decidedly American. Some women had beautiful clothes and seamed stockings and lovely hair-dos. There was entertainment, singing and dancing and the museums are all interesting.
I'm pretty sure this is not a real pilot. Please forgive me if you are!!!
We all had a great time wandering around the museums and reconstructions and watching the Lancaster bomber on its 11am. "taxy-ride". I bought some books, some fudge and some raffle tickets for the spare seat on the 1.30 ride.
DJ was booked for the 1.30pm. ride. He met the others at 1.00pm at the steps to the plane.
He had forgotten his camera and just after I had taken this pic he waved to me and I took it over. I lost some bits of paper on the wind but ran after them and managed to grab them. Just as well cos very soon after, they called the raffle winners. I held my breath...but no...not for me the first prize of a ride. BUT then came the second prize...It was my ticket, in fact one of the ones I had just rescued from the gust of wind and I won...a book.
Winning ticket 172!!!
OK, I was quite pleased and went to the desk to collect it and congratulate everyone else and the ride winner and such. It became obvious after a short while that the first prize winner hadn't turned up. I stood there shaking for nearly twenty minutes while they made every possible effort to find the real winner and then decided to let me on instead.

DJ was already on and had been given the honoured position of right up behind the pilot.
I ran across the rope ad up the stairs and got the seat with no windows. Real stuff.
Couldn't see DJ up the front but managed to send a message. The door near me was open and there were blokes in all the available lookout spots. I was still trembling from the excitement of it all. I sat for the whole ride and then was allowed to crawl around afterwards. I crossed paths with DJ halfway as he went to experience the rear gunner end.
Quite a lot of stuff to watch and know about in the cockpit and...
this is the bomb-aimer's position. I had to access it backwards. In fact most of us were moving slowly and with difficulty around the plane. Some needed help some just needed time. Everyone was as thrilled as could be and glad they had done it. Next year The Lancaster will be taken out for a couple of years while they try to  return it to full flying condition. That will give us time to save up for a real flight.
A really wonderful time was had by DJ , me and all the others we met and our friends who went with us.
Grand weather, grand hotel, grand activities and grand company and we got certificates for doing it.

Cheers Gillian

5 comments:

Lyn said...

Oh my hubby would love tat! Xxx

trish said...

What a wonderful win!
And the weather stayed with you too.

love those cupcakes said...

What a great birthday present. Sounds like a brilliant time was had by all. And well done winning the raffle!

chillsider stitching and opinions said...

Amazing luck, well deserved

carol said...

Now that's my idea of a plane ride - not leaving the ground!

What a fantastic day out.

I did have to laugh at the image of the two of you crawling around investigating the rear gunner end.....