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“a humbling experience, take a pack of tissues. . .”

Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: The Centre is home to Lancaster NX611 and a museum based on a WWII airfield with original control tower, Escaping Society museum, Home Front exhibition, Hampden restoration project, memorial chapel and many memorabilia exhibitions. The Centre is open Mon-Sat. Closed Sundays. During the Summer the Lancaster performs taxy runs usually once a week. It is possible to have a taxy ride on the Lancaster, booking is essential as rides get booked up months in advance.
Reviewed February 19, 2013

What a little gem of a place. At first glance on the internet, it's simply an aircraft hangar with a Lancaster bomber that could fly if they could afford an airworthiness certificate. They take it out and taxi down the runway now and again, and there are some waxworks; exhibits re-creating tableaux of how life probably looked like on a WW2 bomber base. We were fortunate to be there when they started the Lancaster's engines and it moved a few yards in the crisp winter sunshine.

The bouncing bomb story, told in transcribed interview buy Guy Gibson is fascinating, moving and terrible, all at once.

Then, after just a couple of minutes wandering around the rich collection of archive documents and physical exhibits, you wouldn't be human if the gravity of what happened here doesn't humble you into quiet contemplation. 1 in 20 of the young men pictured and featured in the detailed history, with a collective average of age barely 21, never returned from the raids. That's 5% losses per sortie.

The grim reality of the life expectancy of the men in bomber command, and the terrifying way in which they would often meet their end, amidst their salad days of youth, is tangible. Mangled engines, torn parachutes, burned out fuselage sections, leather helmets recovered from wreckage, all speak more than a thousand words.

The photocopies of letters home and telegrams to parents just reek of the fear, uncertainty yet unbelievable courage of these young boys, who very quickly became men. I'm not usually given over to sympathy for war combatants, but somehow the dignity and quiet courage of the young people stationed at East Kirkby is tangible here and deserves admiration.

Trees with plaques have been planted by families, all around the site, in memory of fathers, grandfathers and great grandfathers. It's very touching.

Many much better and far far braver men than me passed through those doors at East Kirkby, and their memory commands deep respect.

2  Thank Tom h
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed February 16, 2013

We have a dog and find it very difficult to visit any attractions as dogs aren't allowed. That is why we were thrilled to find we could take our dog into the centre.
The Lancaster bomber is an imposing sight and almost takes your breath away as you walk into the hangar. The exhibits are interesting and informative, and you could spend hours getting lost in the wonderful stories. There is lots to see and everything is well cared for and looked after with much love. There are plenty of toilets and even baby-changing facilities.
It does not feel like a stuffy old museum, it feels more like a working air field with many enthusiasts working on the Lancaster.
We stopped for lunch in the NAAFI and were allowed to sit at a table at the end with the dog. Then to our utter delight we saw that the Lancaster had been silently wheeled out of the hangar and was sitting on the tarmac outside. We rushed outside and were thrilled to find out that they were going to do engine tests.
The Merlin engines were fired up and it felt quite emotional to hear the roar of the engines. I even got to chat to Fred Panton, the owner of the Lancaster and we felt very privileged to be there. We are now saving for the taxy ride, and can't wait to go back.
All in all a very memorable day.

2  Thank Roverlass
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 9, 2013 via mobile

This museum has hundreds of wartime and aviation artefacts, the story of the dam busters, the great escapes and most of all very personal insights into some of the many thousands who lost their lives so that we may enjoy the freedoms we do today. My Father served in the RAF as a navigator but was only 22 when war ended, these days we consider that so young, yet all these young men fought so bravely. This is a fascinating yet sad place but a very necessary one. Brilliant job, thanks to everyone who makes it possible

Thank Fiona H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 1, 2013

I was given a trip here for my birthday and was simply blown away at being able to ride in the Lancaster as it taxied with the four Marlin engines roaring into life. The incredible briefing really put into focus the phenominal bravery of the air crews as they left for each mission. A humbling experience, especially as the hanger which houses "Just Jane" also has the remnants of many crashed planes with such poiniant stories of the crews and their lives.
Food and drink is good honest fare and there are a huge ammount of artifacts to pour over throughout the site.
For anyone with an interest in aviation, the war, the bravery of the air and ground crews, the skill of the volunteers, the reason why the owners purchased Just Jane , her story and any one who has ever spent a wet Sunday afternoon watching the Dam Busters or similar type film, this is certainly for you. Total privilage to be able to do this.

1  Thank welshfan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 23, 2013

What a great evening we had at the Heritage centre for the Lancaster Taxi run. Great atmosphere, with plenty to see in the hanger and surrounding outbuildings. The Taxi run in the dark was amazing, with blue flames visible from the exhausts of the Merlin engines, then followed by a superb firework display which seemed to go on for ages. We certainly be back for another visit during the summer, and again for the bonfire night event.

Thank Piston B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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