Lincolnshire venue Hemswell Court hosted a fundraising dinner to generate funds towards the £120,000 needed to bring a life-size Lancaster Bomber landmark just off the A46 near Norton Disney. The positioning signifying the combined efforts of both Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire during the Second World War.
Guest of honour on the night was legendary Dambuster George “Johnny” Johnson MBE, DFM, who treated guests to a Q&A session with radio 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 included an online live auction 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 and signed by Mr. Johnson. It was sold for £1,150 on the night.
The auction also included the scale metal model of the proposed Lancaster Bomber landmark which was signed by Mr. Johnson. The unique model, which was previously used for displays and planning permissions discussions, was sold for more than £8,000.
Ken Sadler, Chairman of the Bomber County Gateway Trust, 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.”
“I’d like to say thank you to George “Johnny” Johnson, for being our guest of honour and throwing his support behind the Lancaster bomber landmark, and to everyone who donated items for the auction and helped in organising a wonderful evening.”
Donations are welcome via JustGiving: https://www.justgiving.com/bombercountygatewaytrust