Enthusiasts hope bomber sculpture plan takes off
A sculpture of a Lancaster bomber in flight could dominate the skies near Newark as the area’s rival to the Angel Of The North.
Enthusiasts want to site a life-size sculpture near the A46 at Brills Farm, Norton Disney, close to Hill Holt Wood.
The sculpture of the frame of the iconic bomber would be made of steel, rather than the aluminium of the real thing.
It would be mounted on a giant plaque, appearing as if it was in flight to 30,000 drivers who would pass it daily.
It will seem to be banking for final approach to the former RAF Swinderby, which is five miles away.
The sculpture is planned as a tribute to crews from the base who crashed in the area, including the most photographed, sketched and painted Lancaster of the time.
50 Squadron’s R5689 crashed on September 19, 1942, after both port engines failed as the crew prepared to land, resulting in the death of Sergeant J. R. Gibbons, of the Royal Canadian Air Force.
Sergeant Gibbons is buried in Newark Cemetery.
The replica frame will bear R5689’s markings and insignia and be full-size — 26 metres long with a wingspan of 31 metres.
It is hoped the replica would be in place for November to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the RAF.
The group behind the bid is the Bomber County Gateway Trust — a nod to Lincolnshire’s reputation as Bomber County because of the number of bases there.
It would also commemorate the vital contribution and sacrifice of more than 60,000 members of Bomber Command during the second world war.
It would complement the International Bomber Command Centre in Lincoln, which includes a 31-metre memorial spire — the UK’s tallest war memorial — where the walls will eventually feature the names of all Bomber Command aircrew who lost their lives.
'It would be an amazing thing to see'
Ken Sadler, from the group, said the sculpture represented a unique opportunity.
“A lot of people are desperate to be involved,” he said.
“It would be such a fantastic thing if we could do it.
“It would be an amazing thing to see, appearing as if it were sweeping down from the hillside as you drive from Newark to Lincoln — our rival to the Angel Of The North and a tribute to Bomber County.
“It will be of similar size to the Angel Of The North.
“We have the land granted to us and it is the perfect position. The timing could not be better for this unique opportunity.”
It is estimated the project would cost more than £100,000, much of which might be required through public donations and sponsorship.
The team is appealing for help from structural engineers and financial backers.
Planning permission is needed from North Kesteven District Council and an application has been submitted.
A spokesman for the council said: “Unfortunately, the submitted application is incomplete and we cannot legally begin to determine it.
“We are working with the applicant to secure all the necessary details and once all the information is submitted we will start consultations about the proposed development.”
Anyone interested in helping the Bomber County Gateway Trust can contact the group on Facebook.