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Spitfires, Lancasters and Red Arrows in Strubby fly past this weekend

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A Battle of Britain fly past will be the highlight of a Memorial Dedication Ceremony at the former RAF Strubby, near Alford, this Sunday, August 24.

There will be Spitfires, Lancaster Bombers and the Red Arrows taking part in the fly past to mark the unveiling in honour of those who served at the airfield, both during and after World War Two.

The event has been organised by Janet Stubbs, whose family now own the land the former airfield was built on.

Janet Stubbs came up with the memorial idea as an added attraction to the airfield she wishes to preserve.

The airfield, which opened in 1944, was home to six squadrons plus 5 Group Anti-Aircraft School and was the most easterly base of Bomber Command UK.

In recent decades, the airfield has hosted a gliding club and aquatics business and its complements the neighbouring Woodthorpe Hall caravan park, a golf course, a driving range and a garden centre, which the Stubbs family have also developed.

Janet says she was able to get three fly pasts thanks to Mike Wimmsey, who runs a decorating business in Louth, and owns a light aircraft he keeps at Strubby Airfield.

“Through his contacts he was able to persuade them to do this. It’s not what you know, it’s who you know,” she said.

The 8-foot tall memorial, made of granite shipped in from China, weighs 5 tonnes and cost £35,000. Leakes Masonry of Louth has engraved the names of the squadrons who were based at the airfield.

The ceremony and unveiling of the memorial takes place at 2pm, following a 12-noon opening to the site off the B1373 at Woodthorpe.

Singer Marlaina Rube, who performed at the Normandy Landings commemorations last year will be at the unveiling. Janet says they tried to get Dame Vera Lynn to attend, but the Forces Sweetheart felt she was too old to come up to Lincolnshire.

The Spitfire fly past is at 3pm, with the Lancaster Bombers having their fly past at 4pm, giving a unique opportunity to see the last two flying Lancasters together.

The Red Arrows fly past is at 5pm.

The ceremony also includes special appearances by the Withern Singers, Alford Silver Band and Morris Dancers. There will also be a hog roast, refreshments and a Special Edition Commemoration Batesman Beer also on sale.

Janet says the event is free but she hopes for donations to cover the cost of the memorial, saying she has received some generous donations already.

“I have no connection with the RAF whatsoever. I am from a farming background. My father Les Olivant was in the Home Guard. That was it, looking after the land to feed everybody,” she said.

 

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