The home of the centerpiece of our museum, Lancaster NX611 'Just Jane'. Walk within feet of the Lancaster reading personal stories of heroism, looking at crew and squadron photographs. As you walk through the hangar you will be able to peruse one of the largest private collections of wartime photographs separated in to their Squadrons. We have many visitors who find photos of their relatives that they never even knew existed.
The cabinets contain original equipment used by each crew member on the aircraft and that of the ground crew.
Also housed in the hangar are the many, many parts of aircraft recovered by the Lincolnshire Aircraft Recovery Group; the canberra cockpit, Operation Manna display and an original Barnes Wallis Bouncing Bomb. We also house all of our historic vehicles around and behind the Lancaster setting the scene of a wartime airfield.
The Control Tower
One of the main features to the museum is the Original Control Tower restored to show you what an operational tower would have been like. Many say this is haunted and there is a definite 'chill' in the air as you listen to and watch the recreated Bomber R/T as they return from Berlin. The new WAAF display in the Tower pays respect to the WAAFs who were a very important but often forgotten part of the operation.
Award winning RAF Escape Museum
We are very proud to hold the RAF Escaping Society collection, a tribute to all those who helped crashed airmen in occupied Europe. Refurbished in 2008 we won a Lincolnshire Renaisance Heritage Award for the new displays. The displays include many personal stories of evasion and escape as well as items used by aircrew to aid evasion. There are many displays ranging from Goldfish Club, Caterpillar Club to French Resistance and POW Camps. The displays in the Escape Museum are extremely important to the Centre as they highlight the sacrifices and the heroism of so many French and Belgian people in the Underground movement who helped our airmen return. For every airman who made it back to English shores, 4 of the helpers died. The Escape Museum opens up a whole different subject for many people interested in WW2 history.
Our Memorial Chapel is one of the displays we are most proud of, displaying the names of all the aircrew and ground crew that died from RAF East Kirkby during the Second World War. It is a somber, peaceful place allowing you time for quiet contemplation during your visit reflecting on the tremendous sacrifice made by Bomber Command.
The Early Bombers
The Early Bombers building as our newest update to the Centre. Displays focus on aircraft such as the Hampden, Blenheim, Wellington and Manchester. This building also houses part of our Hampden restoration project. The Merlin display in the Early Bomber's exhibition is a step forward into interactivity, with a quiz to keep both adults and children entertained and original footage of Merlin production. The Link Trainer is a most exciting addition as we now have room to display it, and restoration is underway to get this back into working order.
The Home Front exhibition
A favorite with both children and adults alike. Exhibitions in the home front building include the Home Guard, rationing, a wartime kitchen, the Land Army, evacuation, make do and mend, the Royal Observer Corps, ARP Wardens and a reconstruction of an Anderson shelter.
The children love the black out, mock air raid and the Anderson shelter, while the adults take a trip down memory lane recognising objects from their childhood.
A new audio visual display is on the way for the Hangar from historian Richard Gibbons, see his website www.c20studies.co.uk