International Bomber Command Centre
On a crisp sunny morning on Sunday 27th October at 0730 we assembled in the Queens hall car park in Watton for a day trip to Lincolnshire. The journey was uneventful and lighthearted but received a bit of a dampener as we arrived at the IBCC by those who had been watching the Wales v South Africa rugby match. That aside we were met by Ian one of the centre guides for our personal free tour of the site. Being an ex military man he immediately understood that this would have to wait until a visit to the excellent centre café had been made. When refreshed the group set about the site with Ian. He explained the concept and how it was delayed by the opening of the Bomber Command memorial in Green Park London and also by the discovery of Roman remains on the site. What set out to be a Lincolnshire farmers tribute to the local crews of WW2 quickly became an international affair, reflecting the contributions made by many nationalities during the conflict. There are 5 gardens representing the continents with indigenous plants from those regions. The park is laid out in the shape of Lincolnshire with trees representing the various stations positioned in their appropriate locations with the serving squadrons detailed below each. We surveyed the memorial with all those members of Bomber Command killed (not just aircrew) and found our stone in the "Ribbon or Remembrance" in memory of the RAF Watton squadrons in 1940. Time was spent in the very informative museum which boasted many interactive displays. As tummy's started to rumble we set off for the Blue Bell pub on the edge of the old Woodhall Spa aerodrome, home of 617 sqn after their Dam's raid. The pub was full of memorabilia and atmosphere, not to mention excellent grub. Fully sated we began our trip home which was very quiet as I think most were trying an afternoon nap. We arrived back at Watton around 5 o'clock to wend our way home after a thoroughly enjoyable day.