Black-tie dinner near Gainsborough raises £25,000 for giant Lancaster Bomber sculpture

More than £25,000 has been raised through a fundraising dinner in Hemswell Cliff towards a new landmark honouring the area’s aviation history.

Guests at the Hemswell Court black-tie dinner. Photos: Matt Rogers Photography.
Guests at the Hemswell Court black-tie dinner. Photos: Matt Rogers Photography.

Organised by Fraser Brown Solicitors, the black-tie event at Hemswell Court boosted Bomber County Gateway Trust’s plans to bring a life-size Lancaster Bomber landmark to life on the Lincolnshire/Nottinghamshire border.

The £120,00 project ‘On Freedom’s Wings’ has so far been made possible by corporate and public donations.

The life-size representation - marking the significant aviation history that Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire shared during the Second World War - would be sited off the A46 at Norton Disney and visible to an estimated 34,000 motorists every day.

The fundraising dinner was hosted at Hemswell Court.

Trust chairman Ken Sadler said: “It was a fantastic evening and to have raised more than £25,000 is incredible. It will go a long way in progressing with the sculpture.

“So far, the foundations are in, the drawings are in progress and the next step will be erecting the steel frame over the summer.

“We would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who made the evening possible and to everyone who continues to donate to this project.”

Guest of honour at the dinner was legendary Dambuster George “Johnny” Johnson MBE, DFM, who treated guests to a question and answer session with BBC Radio Lincolnshire presenter Melyn Prior where he recounted stories of his time as a flying member of the 617 Squadron, completing more than 50 missions during the Second World War. The evening also included an online auction.

Bomber County Gateway Trust chairman Ken Sadler, BBC Radio Lincolnshire presenter Melvyn Prior and trustee Peter Graham.

John Tansur, commercial director at Fraser Brown Solicitors and organiser of the event, said: “It was very fitting that the event took place at Hemswell Court, the location for much of the filming of the 1955 Dambusters film and a stone’s throw away from RAF Scampton.”

The Last Dambuster George 'Johnny' Johnson MBE, DFM
An artist impression of On Freedoms Wings'.