trustee visit to RAF Scampton
RAF SCAMPTON – HOME OF THE RED ARROWS
The trustees had the privilege and pleasure of visiting RAF Scampton this weekend at the invitation of Trustee, Stn Warrant Officer Gareth Davies, who hosted our first Trustees Meeting of 2015.
Gareth and his staff couldn’t have done more to make us feel welcome and he had set up a superb programme encompassing not only the meeting, but also tours of all the facilities available to visitors, setting out the historical significance of the base.
Not least of these, it is the home of The Red Arrows and whilst they weren’t flying during our visit on Saturday, Glenn, Elaine and Ryan did catch one of their sorties when they arrived early afternoon on Friday. Jo, their PR officer gave us a very informative presentation overview of the team’s activities…….. there’s a heck of a lot of preparation before you see that magical formation in flight. ‘Elite’ is hard-earned.
The Heritage Centre was next on the list with Colin and Brian, two of the numerous volunteers, giving an excellent and comprehensive account of Scampton’s connection with ‘617’ Squadron The Dambusters, it being their home base too during the war. Scampton has the unique honour of having had two ‘617’ crew awarded VCs, Flt Lt Roderick Learoyd and Wg Cdr Guy Gibson. Our tour concluded in the aircraft hangar where Elaine, Glenn and Ryan were like ‘kids in a sweetshop’ when they got to actually sit in the display version of a ‘Red Arrows’ Hawk aircraft! :0)…… (see photos in the Gallery)
On then to a whistlestop tour of the RAF Fire Service Museum and thanks to serving Station Officer Steve Shirley based at RAF Coningsby, who has spent 32 years collecting items for display but spends all his downtime waxing lyrical at the museum, for the historical insight and sharing with us his undoubted passion for his life’s work ….never before have I seen so many collectables in one venue and it is little wonder that a claim to fame is that the museum houses the largest collection of global Fire Service memorabilia in the UK, with some of the items being the original version and singular ones remaining in existence.
A visit to the station is a must if you are visiting Lincolnshire ….and have two days to spend in both! Visits need to be pre-arranged as it is an operational station http://www.raf.mod.uk/rafscampton
This was certainly a Trustees Meeting with a difference and probably the most enjoyable to date!
Thanks Gareth you delivered in style:0)…… and all the ‘business’ side of the meeting was accomplished too!
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