Works have now started on phase two of the highly anticipated Lancaster Bomber landmark ‘On Freedom’s Wings’, just off the A46 on the border between Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire.
The life-size sculpture – which will serve as a reminder of all those who served – is set to become an iconic national landmark, rivalling the Angel of the North in both size and status.
The project’s organisers, the Bomber County Gateway Trust, have announced that phase two will see the steel podium erected this month, ready to support the body of the aircraft sculpture itself.
A whole host of companies have donated services and materials to the project so far, including steel engineering and fabrication specialist William Hare Ltd, who has fabricated the steel framework with steel donated from TATA.
The Trust has raised the equivalent of £600,000 through public and corporate donations to reach this point but is asking for further donations to take the project to the next phase once the steel frame is in place.
Ken Sadler, trustee and project director of Bomber County Gateway Trust, said: “We‘re incredibly pleased that this project is taking shape and soon people will be able to see the framework from the road as they drive past.
“The generosity and support of businesses, organisations and individuals has been overwhelming. The money we’ve raised so far has got us to this point, but we need to raise further funds to reach the next phase which will be fabricating the airplane body. We’re so close to finishing this special landmark but we need everyone’s help to do it.”
When finished, the huge sculpture will measure 26 metres in length, 29 metres in height and have a wingspan of 31 metres, making it 9m taller than the Angel of the North.
Tom Hodgkiss, chief development officer at William Hare Group, said: “William Hare is privileged to use the company’s steel design and fabrication expertise in order to support the development of this unique and important landmark.”
Members of the public and businesses are being invited to donate what they can to what will become a magnificent and emotive national landmark.
Long-time supporter of the project, and legendary Dam Buster, George “Johnny” Johnson MBE, DFM, joined the RAF in 1940 and became a crew member of Lancasters in 97 and 617 Squadrons. He said: “The Lancaster was, in my opinion, the finest heavy bomber of World War Two. This sculpture will be recognised as a symbol of sacrifice made by nearly 58,000 men and women who served with Bomber Command.
“It will represent the pivotal role which the County of Lincolnshire played in the Second World War. I hope it means as much to the people of Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire as it does to me.”
Donations are welcome via Just Giving https://www.justgiving.com/bombercountygatewaytrust.