Wet winter could dampen progress on landmark ‘On Freedom’s Wings’ Second World War Lancaster memorial project on Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire border, warns Bomber County Gateway Trust
Organisers behind a landmark memorial project say that progress will be weather dependent after an incredibly wet few months.
On Freedom’s Wings is a project organised by the Bomber County Gateway Trust to erect a full scale replica of the iconic Avro Lancaster bomber.
Visible from the A46, the sculpture will be sited on the Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire border as a memorial to all those that served in Bomber Command during the Second World War.
The initial groundworks on site were laid in 2018, and in 2020 steel support beams were put in place to hold the sculpture 30ft in the air.
The project briefly halted due to the covid pandemic and rising cost of materials, but continued fundraising efforts have now helped to buy the majority of the steel needed to complete the project and so far parts of the sculpture’s internal structure have been fully fabricated.
However, progress on site is now dependent on the right weather conditions to safely use lorries and construction vehicles.
Di Ablewhite, from the Bomber County Gateway Trust, said: “We’ve had a very wet winter.
“People have put their faith in us and we don’t want any more delays.
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“We’re hopeful that that work can begin on site in the spring or summertime, but if it’s still too wet we’re going to have to wait for another dry spell.
“The supports are the most visible part of the project and we are keen to show our supporters that although the site is currently inaccessible, progress is still being made behind the scenes.”
This week Lincolnshire-based company, Timmins engineering, began work on combining sections of the sculpture’s internal structure together.
The replica aircraft’s tail section will be fused with the main body of the fuselage, after which work can begin on completing the wings.
Once the ground on site is dry enough for cranes and heavy vehicles to access, the main body of the sculpture will be lifted onto the steel supports beams.
The wings will then be attached separately before the shaped steel shell, which will give the Lancaster sculpture it's iconic shape, will be attached in situ.
At the same time, landscaping will also take place to install paths and a car park on site, although the final layout has not yet been decided.
Poppy seeds will be sown so that when in bloom the Lancaster will appear as if it is soaring through the sky above a sea of the bright red flowers now associated with the act of remembrance.
"I really want to thank everyone that has volunteered to help, whether that is offering their time and resources or doing vital fundraising to ensure we can afford to finish this project,” said Di.
“People have been so passionate about this and want to get involved because they realise that what a huge draw this will be for the area, rivaling the Angel of the North.
“Companies like Hutchinson's and Timmins have done the work free of charge, in their spare time and we can’t thank them enough.”
To support the project visit the trust’s fundraising page at: www.justgiving.com/campaign/bombercountygateway
The trust hope that the project will be complete by early 2025.