100 Voices: Trails of wings land in Lincoln

A series of commemorative trails dedicated to Lincolnshire’s RAF history will take off in Lincoln this week.

People are invited to don their walking boots and grab their bicycles to follow eight different routes across Lincoln and Lincolnshire, all the while finding a collection of ‘wing’ sculptures.

The 100 wings, each styled on a different aircraft, act as information panels, telling the stories of 100 people who have experienced life in the RAF since its foundation in 1918 – which led to Lincolnshire becoming known as Bomber County.

Trails will be ready for families, friends and individuals to join from Saturday, May 5.

Artist Rosie Ablewhite who produced the pictorial side of the “wing” panel.

It’s the latest in a programme of events in the county in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the RAF.

The trails were launched by Lincoln Business Improvement Group and Visit Lincoln and range from one mile to 55 miles in length.

The four walking trails featuring voices of Lincoln are all family friendly, and the four cycling trails range from easy off-road routes to more challenging, long distance journeys, telling many more RAF stories.

Walking trails are (click or tap for more information and route maps):

Cycling Trails are (click or tap for more information and route maps):

Once participants have collected their five wings, they can pick-up their “pilot’s licence” from the Lincoln Visitor Information Centre in Castle Hill, Lincoln.

See the website here for more details.

Lincoln BIG Chief Executive Matt Corrigan said: “This year’s centenary of the RAF (RAF 100) has given us an unmissable opportunity to devise some new trails which are designed to attract walkers and cyclists.

“We are also proud that we have been able to make them educational too, by creating the display “wings” which will tell people much more about the life of the RAF and its importance to Lincolnshire over the decades, through to the present day.

Artist Rosie Ablewhite’s illustration (back row l-r): Lincoln BIG’s Michael Armstrong; Porscher Morgan of Access Lincoln and Visit Lincoln’s Lydia Rusling, the Panel, Trail sponsors (foreground): Artists involved in the Project

“The cycling trails explore the countryside around Lincoln and take riders to places which have a rich association with the RAF – from former airfields to today’s operational sites and the RAF “school” at Cranwell.

“As an added attraction, those taking part in the trails have an opportunity to “earn their wings” by completing questions on five of the routes.”

Visit Lincoln Chief Executive Lydia Rusling added: “Following on from the Lincoln Barons’ Charter Trail and the Lincoln Knights’ Trail, these new trails complement our RAF Lincolnshire activities this year.

“They will hopefully get visitors and locals alike exploring the city and county in more depth. All follow an RAF theme which is so important to our county.”