Saturday 20th May saw the first TPM Members Club Open Day kindly hosted by the wonderful Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre at East Kirkby, the home of Lancaster NX611. The club stand was set up in the hangar alongside the recently painted ‘Just Jane’ and her rear turret stood guard over the speakers podium. The merchandise was very popular with many people returning two or three times to buy more things.
There was a strong crowd of club members, their friends and families and also a number of visitors to the centre joined us to listen to our guest speakers. The day started with our very own Chairman, John Lilley welcoming everyone. John then delivered a review of the last year and gave an update on the project and spoke of the fund-raising business plan for 2017-2018. A copy of the Chairman’s report will be publish shortly.
The next speaker was Wing Commander Bill Ramsey (retd.), TPM Operations Director, who gave us his “A Display Pilot’s Story”. A presentation of Bill’s RAF flying career, and his time as the last Captain of Vulcan XH558.
A break was taken for lunch to allow time for people to head outside for the planned BBMF flypast. The first big shower of the day welcomed the assembled crowd but at the appointed time the clouds broke and we were treated to a number of passes by Flt Lt. ‘Parky’ Parkinson in the Spitfire currently sporting a mean looking Black Primer colour scheme.
After lunch we had the great pleasure to hear from Flt Lt. Colin Bell, a Mosquito Pathfinder veteran, who shared his wartime operational combat experiences in the Mosquito. This included one particular time when they were targeted numerous times at night by a ME262 who proved somewhat troublesome to evade.
Grp. Capt. Roger Dunsford (retd.), co-author of “3 in Thirteen” followed, with a talk about the amazing Mosquito operation when 1 Mosquito crew saved the City of Hull from being bombed. The book will shortly be appearing for sale on the TPM show stand and online. Roger also took the time to sign copies for people too.
An auction of some very unique items/experiences, that were generously donated to TPM, followed. There was some very competitive bidding, and I am pleased to say one item will soon be adorning a wall at my home. Shortly afterwards there was a raffle draw with a good number of prizes and some more happy faces as numbers were called.
The day was brought to a close by John Lilley and the Directors thanking everyone for attending and also thanking the guest speakers and our hosts, Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre.