On Saturday the 5th March Lincoln Short Wave Club and the Learning officers at the International Bomber Command Centre Lincoln, Louise Hodder and Janine Smithson set up a joint family day and Special Event Station to commemorate the first operational use of the Avro Lancaster 80 years ago this March.
The International Bomber Command Centre (IBCC) was created to provide a world-class facility to serve as a point for recognition, remembrance, and reconciliation for Bomber Command. The IBCC provides one of the most comprehensive records of Bomber Command in the world and ensures that generations to come can learn of their vital role and heroism in protecting the freedom we enjoy today.
The Walls of Names surround the Memorial Spire in a series of circles framing the view of the city and the Cathedral. There are 271 individual panels and nearly 58000 names. Every life lost in Bomber Command was equal in sacrifice and, as a result, the walls do not recognise rank or medals awarded. Bomber command was the most dangerous branch of service in World War two with few crews completing a tour of 30 missions.
It was true privilege to operate from this special place on such an anniversary and pay tribute to those lost, while at the same time seeing children enjoy the freedom their sacrifice bought. We caused a pile up on 40m with a huge number of radio amateurs showing their support, Andy Keddie M0KED and Stephen McBain M5SJM doing a great job in managing the pile up.
In addition to the normal Special Event Station, we also had a family day. An idea the Learning team at the centre came up with to combine our SES with one of their regular family days and it was a great success.
As well as information about the anniversary of the Avro Lancaster we had an R1155 receiver as used in the Lancaster on display many thanks to Roger Hunt G3PVU, even if some joker did play FT8 on it at one point.
We had children doing crafts and making morse code necklaces and bracelets with the centres learning team and our members getting children to send their names in morse code to computers from original bathtub keys.
Bob Butterfield G3VEV and Steve Burke M5ZZZ doing a great job on the morse code sending table. Bob sticking out the table all day without a break. After a few hours some of the Ladies on the morse code bracelet making table next door believed they had developed tinnitus, but Bob just plugged on without even an aspirin.
The hand eye coordination of the Xbox generation is amazing with many children doing very very well. Some of the children even needing to run a lap of the room in excitement after sending their name. Over 100 visitors took part in the activities.
Many thanks also go to all the rest of the crew who also worked so hard at the event: Les Clarke G1LQB, David Applewhite M6OYN, Peter Kendall M0EJL, Brian Milne G4HIV and it was really nice to see Pam Rose G4STO.
A fantastic day was had by all we will be back at the IBCC again soon.