Hemswell Court in Lincolnshire will host a fundraising dinner next month to help towards the £150,000 still needed to bring a life-size Lancaster Bomber landmark to life on the Lincolnshire Nottinghamshire border, marking the significant aviation history that the two counties shared during the Second World War.
Organised by local law firm Fraser Brown Solicitors, the black-tie dinner will be held on 22nd May and interest for the event has already been very positive, with now limited tables available for purchase.
All funds raised from the event will go towards the build of ‘On Freedom’s Wings’, the design of which will be taller than the Angel of the North. The life-size representation of a Lancaster Bomber will be erected on high ground just off the A46 at Norton Disney, visible to an estimated 34,000 motorists every day.
Led by a group of passionate volunteers, registered charity Bomber County Gateway Trust was created with the sole aim of making ‘On Freedom’s Wings’ a reality. So far, the project has been made possible by corporate and public donations, but up to £150,000 is still needed to complete the landmark in 2019.
Guests can expect fizz and canapes on arrival followed by a four-course dinner. The highlight of the night will be an online live auction via online auctioneer, John Pye Auctions, with a collection of highly anticipated lots, including an original oil painting of BBMF and Canadian Lancasters on their 2014 tour by renowned artist Tim O’Brien. The painting is also signed by legendary Dambuster George “Johnny” Johnson MBE, DFM.
Mr. Johnson, who is the last surviving flying member of the 617 squadron, will be guest of honour on the night, along with a host of other veterans from Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire. Fittingly, Hemswell Court was the location for much of the filming of the classic 1955 film, The Dam Busters.
The auction also includes the unique scale model of the proposed Lancaster Bomber landmark which was used for displays and planning permission discussions. It measures approximately 110cm tall and will be signed by veterans attending the event. The winning bidder will receive a special presentation of it at the dedication ceremony when the landmark is completed.
Other lots include an authentic flying jacket which commemorates The Dam Busters film, signed by Johnny Johnson, the chance to experience a flight in a Tornado F3 simulator, a night time taxy ride in a Lancaster Bomber, complete with firework display, a bottle of limited edition Dam Raider Gin signed by rugby legend Rory Underwood, a wine tasting session for eight at Hemswell Court and a selection of paintings depicting significant wartime events including D Day (6th June 1944).
Ken Sadler, Chairman of the Bomber County Gateway Trust, said: “We are excited about the evening at Hemswell Court and their hosting of an online auction with so many rare and unique lots for sale is fantastic. We are incredibly fortunate to have backing from legendary veterans including Johnny Johnson, who whole-heartedly support what we are trying to achieve. Businesses and individuals are invited to book a table and enjoy a wonderful evening with us for a wonderful cause.
“To date, the excavation and concrete foundations have been completed and the steel framework will be erected in summer this year. To continue beyond that, we need funds to take us to the next stage which is constructing the steel body of the aircraft itself. The response we’ve received for this project has been overwhelmingly positive and I’m looking forward to moving another step closer to completing this landmark.”
For sponsorship enquiries or to reserve a table at the event, please contact Rebecca Young via firstname.lastname@example.org
Donations are welcome via JustGiving: https://www.justgiving.com/bombercountygatewaytrust
Cheques can be made payable to ‘Bomber County Gateway Trust’ and posted to: Bomber County Gateway Trust, Hill Holt Farm, Norton Disney, LN6 9JP.