For an Aviation Enthusiast, no visit to Lincolnshire is complete without a visit to RAF Scampton Heritage Centre!
On hearing today that RAF Scampton is due to close on the 31st December 2022, I wanted to share details of my visit from last year.
A request had to be made by email & confirmed before we attended & on the day photographic identification had to be provided for security checks as RAF Scampton is still a working base.
To the rear of the base sits the Heritage Centre which is run by an amazing group of Volunteers, during our visit the group was split into 2 with 1 group going round 1 section of the building before swapping round with the other. We had an amazing guide named Pat who was lovely & I hit it off with her immediately as we both had fathers who served during the Cold War Period.
The building is set out into different sections, downstairs and to one side of the building several rooms off of the main corridor take the visitor through a history of the Air Force starting with the Royal Flying Corps & Royal Naval Air Service, moving into the Royal Air Force, the History of the Base, information on 617 Squadron, the Dambusters & the Red Arrows.
These rooms contain a variety of artefacts from Uniforms & badges to models, artwork, memorial plaques, photographs, aircraft equipment and much more. There are display case, after display case packed with interesting items! There are also rooms set out to show what billets during different time periods would look like.
To the side of this section lies the Hangar which contains aircraft from WW1 onwards, control panels, artwork, bicycles & much more. Around the outside of the Hangar are more display cabinets containing a variety of items including sections of an excavated aircraft.
Within the Hangar the Volunteers offer Visitors Refreshments for a donation & a little pop-up shop is available where you can purchase everything from Dambuster Glasses which we did! Red Arrow Notebooks, Squadron Crest Badges, Tea towels etc.
For me the highlight of the trip was upstairs! Guy Gibson’s Offices! You may already have caught my previous blog post on my Treehouse Genealogy website when I visited Guys Grave in Steenbergen & took part in the Dam Busters Trial check it out now
These office contain memorial plaques for those who lost their lives on the Dam Busters Raid, several display cabinets with uniforms, models, artwork & photographs. Guys office has his desk laid out as though he has just left, his coat hangs on a coat stand in the corner, his gloves & pipe sit on his desk with the newspaper that announced the success of the dams raid & a black Labrador sits under his desk.
Outside of the building we find a Tall Boy & Grand Slam Bomb, one of Barnes Wallis’ Bouncing Bombs & the grave of Guys beloved dog.
Although not guaranteed on the day or even part of the actual tour, we were fortunate enough to nip outside during our visit to see The Red Arrows take off & fly over our heads whilst training, I don’t think I have seen them that close before!
I can highly recommend a visit to RAF Scampton the volunteers do an amazing job.
Looking online today they still seem to be accepting bookings but you may need to get in quick!
If you are not in a position to visit then why not check out my virtual visit on YouTube
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