Lincolnshire will host a series of unmissable events and exhibitions to mark the centenary of the Royal Air Force in 2018.
Aviation Heritage Lincolnshire has put together a three-year-programme of activities under the banner “Lincolnshire: Bastion in the Air”, in partnership with the county council, West Lindsey District Council, North Lincolnshire Council and North East Lincolnshire Council.
The events, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, will form part of the county’s contribution to the national RAF 100 celebrations and will showcase the prominent role Lincolnshire has played in the story of military aviation.
The RAF was founded on 1 April 1918 by the amalgamation of the Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Naval Air Service and was controlled by the British Government Air Ministry which had been established three months earlier.
Lincolnshire County Council aviation heritage manager Dave Harrigan said: “The highlights will include a recreation of a World War One grass airfield at RAF Scampton, complete with replica aircraft and artefacts giving an insight into the daily lives of members of the Royal Flying Corps during the period.
“At The Collection in Lincoln, an exhibition will chart the emerging air threat posed by Zeppelins and the British response. The focus will be on the county’s role as one of the world’s largest aircraft manufacturing centres and the vital contribution of local female munitions workers known as munitionettes.
“In addition, two travelling exhibitions will be touring the county exploring the lives of the ‘Heroes of the Airfields’ and the ‘Heroines of the Homefront’.
“We’ll have some fantastic items on display, with some special loans from Rolls Royce, the Luftwaffe Museum in Berlin and Dresden’s equivalent to the Imperial War Museum. Lord Ashcroft has also allowed the loan of a Victoria Cross from the Ashcroft Collection in London.
“Our county played a pivotal role in the story of military aviation in World War One. That’s sometimes forgotten, but Bastion in the Air will change that.”
The exhibition at RAF Scampton will run from April 6 until August 24, while the exhibition at The Collection will be open from May 26 until September 9.
Heroines of the Homefront is currently on display at Ayscoughfee Hall in Spalding until October 31.
Heroes of the Airfield is due to open at the Waters’ Edge visitor centre, Barton upon Humber, on November 13.
‘A spectacular year for aviation heritage’
Councillor Nick Worth, executive member for culture at Lincolnshire County Council, said: “Lincolnshire has always had a special connection to the RAF, so it’s fitting that we play a key part in next year’s centenary celebrations.
“I’m looking forward to what promises to be a spectacular year for aviation heritage in Lincolnshire.”
Councillor Paul Howitt Cowan, chair of the Leisure, Culture, Events and Tourism (LCET) group at West Lindsey District Council, said: “The historical connection of aviation in Lincolnshire and West Lindsey in particular brings hundreds of visitors into the district every year, making this a very important tourism sector.”
Jonathan Platt, head of Heritage Lottery Fund East Midlands, added: “The centenary celebrations of the Royal Air Force offer a fantastic opportunity to highlight the important role Lincolnshire has played over the years in the development of military aviation.”
Further details on all of the events taking place in Lincolnshire for the RAF 100 celebrations will be released over the coming months.