We left York earlier than normal so that we could complete all the visits that were planned for today. Our first stop was at Driffield where we were taken around the old administrative site that is now an area Cadet Headquarters and training area. Gp Capt Bert explained to us the role there now as the whole airfield has been decommissioned and the hangars are part of an industrial site. All the old buildings, including the old accommodation blocks are still standing but it seems to be demolished to make way for new housing.
Our next stop was at Holme upon Spalding Moor where the RAAF 462 Squadron operated from in conjunction with the RAF 76 Squadron. We conducted a small Service in Remembrance of those lost flying from there during the bomber campaign during the War before entering the showroom of J Rotheringham, Joe, who had saved many of the photos from the time and much more associated with the service of those squadrons. Many of the veterans have returned over the years to pay their respects to those who were lost. Joe has kept many photographs of those visits and they are also displayed in a Remembrance Hall within his showroom. The airfield is now an industrial site but many of the buildings and hangars still stand and are being used.
Continuing south through the beautiful countryside we crossed the Humber Bridge and made our way to the home of RAAF 460 Squadron, Binbrook. This squadron is famous as it dropped more tonnage, conducted more operations but sadly, also suffered more casualties than any other squadron. There is a Memorial Square and garden established there with plans for a Chapel and Museum. The old airfield is now an industrial centre and the tarmac has been removed and used as road base.
Lunch in a local pub in Binbrook before we continued further south to East Kirby Museum. This Museum is the home of a Lancaster that, at present time does not have clearance to fly, but does taxi around the perimeter of the airfield and one can book to don the flying gear and take a ride. A long waiting list and quite a hefty cost does preclude many from participating. We were fortunate that when we arrived, the Lancaster was out of the hanger and we could get some good shots of her before being put away for the night. The Museum is also well worth a visit even if the Lancaster was not there as there are many artefacts and much information concerning the squadrons who served there.
When our visit finished we had a short drive to our accommodation, the Petwood Hotel. This hotel was in fact the Officers Mess for 617 Squadron, the Dam Busters. Tomorrow some more visits as we head further south to Bedford.