6 - 8 may
The 2022 Reunion
To everyone’s relief we were at last able to hold a reunion, after a break of three long years, and did so over the weekend 6 - 8 May. There were concerns that attendance might be affected by the Black Buck 40th anniversary shindig held the previous weekend at RAF Waddington. Numbers were indeed down but not disastrously so. Thirty eight members turned up for the Meet & Greet on Friday evening and that number had grown to 55 for dinner on Saturday.
On Saturday morning Phil Davies and Barry Smith conducted tours of the International Bomber Command Centre on Canwick Hill overlooking Lincoln. Fortunately the weather was kind and members enjoyed an informative visit with the added benefit of magnificent views over the city and its cathedral.
We owe a debt of gratitude to Waddington’s Station Commander, Gp Capt Lorriman-Hughes, in post only since January, who welcomed us warmly and delivered a most interesting brief in the Nettleton Room of Ops Wg HQ on Saturday afternoon, outlining a variety of past and present changes affecting Waddington’s operational tasks.
Following the station brief the Chairman welcomed everybody to the Association’s General Meeting. In the temporary absence of our Treasurer, who was indisposed thanks to the ubiquitous Covid, the Chairman gave a run-down of the Association’s finances. Other agenda items included the Membership Secretary’s report and the Newsletter Editor’s report. These last two were inter-related in that the rising costs of producing and distributing the newsletter had occasioned a careful analysis of the overall membership with respect to the payment of individual membership dues.
At the close of the meeting members were bussed to Alpha Dispersal for a group photograph in front of the famous Vulcan XM607, which was resplendent in its pale grey undercoat awaiting final finishing in camouflage. It was heart-warming to see how much care and attention had been lavished on this iconic aircraft. Saturday’s activities were brought to an agreeable conclusion with dinner in the Officers’ Mess.
Members gathered at Dunholme Lodge Farm on Sunday morning for a service of remembrance conducted by the Reverend Adam Watson and assisted by the Reverend Paul Maple. Once again we were warmly hosted by the Wykes family who, in addition to providing a marquee and seating for the service and cutting a life-sized silhouette of a Lancaster bomber in the adjacent lawn, also provided tea, coffee and biscuits after the service. We cannot thank them enough. Their generous hospitality makes the Sunday morning remembrance service a truly memorable event. And whilst dispensing gratitude, our sincere thanks also goes to David Jackson and members of the RAF Waddington Volunteer Band, who accompanied our hymns and played the Last Post and Reveille so movingly.
An enjoyable reunion weekend ended with an excellent lunch at the IBCC on Canwick Hill.