May 17, 2023 1.30 pm This story is over 8 months old

Scampton commemorators urge for politics-free Dambusters anniversary

Discussions of housing asylum seekers were set aside

By Local Democracy Reporter

Attendees at the Dambusters commemoration in Scampton have called for remembrance rather than political drama surrounding the village’s former RAF base.

Crowds watched a Lancaster bomber trace a route over Lincolnshire’s Bomber Command bases to mark the 80th anniversary of the audacious Dambusters raid.

Residents and members of the Save Our Scampton group joined in a poignant candlelit vigil to honour the courageous pilots of eight decades ago.

Candles were lit at 9.39pm, the time when the first pilots took off, creating a solemn moment of remembrance.

The Lancaster bomber flying over Scampton | Photo: James Turner

Reports indicated that far-right affiliated groups connected to recent demonstrations in Lincoln and Skegness had planned a human chain protest at the main gate of RAF Scampton following the flyover.

However, this didn’t materialise, and residents called for the event to focus on commemorating fallen servicemen.

Greg Algar, Landlord of the Dambusters Inn, said: “Tonight, I just feel is a night to remember what happened up in Germany 80 years ago.”

Greg Algar, Landlord of the Bambusters Inn | Photo: James Turner

Gary Shaw, 58, criticised the Home Office’s decision to repurpose the former home of the Red Arrows due to its detrimental impact on a £300 million heritage, tourism and enterprise project.

He said: “The deal was in place, or so I’m led to believe, then all of a sudden, it’s been taken away.”

Despite being unaware of any protest at the gates, Shaw believed that the essence of remembrance should not be overshadowed.

RAF Scampton has become a political flashpoint due to Home Office plans to house up to 2000 asylum seekers on the site.

Several police cars were on hand to monitor the supposed protest.

Some people told reporters they had come for the human chain, but went home as weather conditions worsened.

Members of The 1940s Reenactment Group also took part in the vigil | Photo: James Turner

The Lincoln and District Trades Council condemned the “scapegoating of refugees” by right-wing groups prior to the protest.

See the Lancaster soar over RAF Scampton to mark 80 years since the Dambusters raid

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