Historic spire to arrive at Lincoln Bomber Command Centre site in May

The Memorial Spire, the first visible development in the building of the new International Bomber Command Centre on Canwick Hill, will make its journey to Lincoln on May 10.

The design is based on two wing fragments, tapering as they rise towards the sky, and echoes the spires that form part of Lincolnshire’s skyline.

The height of the memorial is 102ft (31.09m), which is the wingspan of the Avro Lancaster; the width at the base is 16ft (5m), which is the overall width of a Lancaster wing.

The pieces of steel that make up the Memorial Spire will be transported from Yorkshire.

The pieces of steel that make up the Memorial Spire will be transported from Yorkshire.

The spire, which is in production at a fabrication unit in Yorkshire, will be taken via the M180 onto the A1 before meeting its full police escort at the Newark truck stop on the A1 at 7am.

The two low-loaders, the largest of which will be 25m long, and a 72 tonne crane will travel along the A17 and A15 to Bracebridge Heath before turning onto Canwick Avenue at 8am.

Organisers hope that local people will come out to wave the memorial on its way to its new home overlooking the city.

Spire facts

  • The finished Spire will be 31.09m tall and 5m wide at the base
  • It will weigh 55 tonnes
  • 520 holes will be created in the two linking plates holding the shards together
  • 32 pieces of steel plate will be used to create the shards
  • The top 21m section weighs 26 tonnes and will be brought in on one 25m lorry

The engineers will then take approximately six hours to erect the spire, with the construction due to be completed later in the month.

Nicky Barr, Director of the International Bomber Command Centre, said: “We have deliberately planned the move for early on a Sunday morning to minimise the disruption to traffic. The transport company believe that they will be able to move at between 40-50 mph and so the disruption shouldn’t be too bad.”

The International Bomber Command Centre is set for an opening date of October 1.

The International Bomber Command Centre is set for an opening date of October 1.

The site comprises several elements: the Chadwick Centre, the Memorial Spire, the Bomber Command Archive and the International Peace Garden.

The project will also create an archive that digitises and preserves hundreds of personal stories and documents including the recollections of some of the few remaining survivors of the campaigns.

This is being put together by a team of tireless volunteers, and the trust is looking for as many people as possible to come forward with stories and documents related to the Bomber Command.

The view from where the Memorial Spire will be placed on Canwick Hill.

The view from where the Memorial Spire will be placed on Canwick Hill.

It is hoped that around 600 volunteers will benefit from the scheme by 2020, offering training in a wide number of areas.

The project will provide 12 full-time jobs in addition to a number of part-time positions.