Prized Lancaster duo makes farewell flight after memorial tour

  • Photo: Sean Strange
  • Photo: Sean Strange
  • Photo: Sean Strange
  • Photo: Sean Strange
  • Photo: Sean Strange
  • Photo: Sean Strange
  • Photo: Sean Strange
  • Photo: Sean Strange
  • Photo: Sean Strange
  • Photo: Sean Strange
  • Photo: Sean Strange
  • Photo: Sean Strange
  • Photo: Sean Strange
  • Photo: Sean Strange
  • Photo: Sean Strange
  • Photo: Sean Strange
  • Photo: Sean Strange
  • Photo: Sean Strange

As the last two airworthy World War Two Lancaster Bombers concluded their 6-week UK tour, Lincoln photographer Sean Strange is looking back over the historic journey.

Lincolnshire’s Thumper and Canada’s Vera marked the final flight of their historic UK tour by making a 50th anniversary visit to the ‘Dambusters’ Derwent Dam.

The Canadian Lancaster is leaving RAF Coningsby at 10am on September 23, and will fly over Lincoln Cathedral at around 10.20am (weather and aircraft serviceability permitting).

Thousands of people have followed the Lancasters’ journey with air shows and flypasts up and down the country since they were reunited on August 8.

Sean Strange, a 24-year-old Media graduate from the University of Lincoln, has been lucky enough to have been part of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight entourage.

Sean said that despite the “typical British weather” the spirits of those waiting for Vera and Thumper were never dampened.

“The events surrounding the Canadian Lancaster have been particularly special to the Royal Air Force and its heritage,” said Sean.

“My ‘tour’ started with the Canadian Lacaster’s arrival on August 8 where I was very fortunate to be invited on station alongside a few friends from Bomber Command.

“On her arrival, a selection of Bomber Command veterans were presented with their well overdue Bomber Command medal clasps by Station Commander, Group Captain Johnny Stringer.

Lincoln Photographer Sean Strange with Squadron Leader George 'Johnnie' Johnson.

Lincoln Photographer Sean Strange with Squadron Leader George ‘Johnnie’ Johnson.

“August 21 was a particularly rare occasion, RAF Waddington hosted a once in a lifetime event with the attendance of both Avro Lancaster Bombers and the Avro Vulcan XH558 of the Vulcan to the Skies.

“From a personal point of view the noise and indeed the smell was particularly awesome and something that everyone in attendance will remember for a long time!

“My final encounter with the two Lancaster Bombers was over Derwent Reservoir in Derbyshire.

“At around 4.20pm the pair of Lancaster Bombers entered the Derwent Valley from the north following the terrane of the moors either side for a pass over the very dam that was used for training by the famed 617 Squadron prior to their Dams Raid.

“This flight also marked the first time two Lancaster Bombers had flown over the dam in 50 years.

“It has been a fantastic 6 weeks and I think everyone who has witnessed these events, that will never be repeated, would join me in thanking the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum and their counterparts at the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight for their incredible feat of flying and dedication! Safe Journey Home!”