90 – Over and (not) Out!

Reading time: 2 minutes...

It was Denis’s 90th Birthday today!

As part of his Birthday treat, and in keeping with Dad’s RAF experience, we took him to the IBCC (International Bomber Command Centre) in nearby Canwick Hill, Lincoln.

Opened in 2011, the aim of the IBCC is to tell the personal stories of service men and women of RAF Bomber Command, ground crews and civilians impacted by the bombing campaigns on both sides of the conflict during the Second World War.

It’s an impressive building inside and out, so there’s lots to see. But before all of that, like the Planes themselves, we needed re-fuelling. And the Restaurant turned out to be as comprehensive as the Museum itself!

The restaurant was busy and that meant a slightly longer wait than we would have liked – but it was worth it! Omelettes for Ann and her Dad (large and fluffy! – the eggs, not the eaters!) whilst I wrestled with the themed ‘Bomber Breakfast‘ – a monster of a full-English where the Toast would have doubled as the wings on a Lancaster! Yummy πŸ˜‹

Click on the image for a downloadable larger version
Click on the image for a downloadable larger version

The Museum itself consists of two floors where everything to do with Bomber Command’s activities was explained in great detail. It was difficult to take photos inside, but take it from us, it’s worth a visit even if you just have a passing interest in WWII history.

The best part was probably the gigantic screen that showed a detailed map of Europe. On the left hand side, a rolling timeline of WWII, month-by-month, year-by-year – and on the map itself, a ‘dot’ to show every bomb that was dropped. Fascinating stuff, especially once the Americans entered the War – as this had a direct impact on the quantity of bombs dispatched (especially on Germany!).

With both floors covered, it was outside to take the short walk to the Memorial to all those who died. This was an eye-catching piece fashioned in the shape of an aircraft wing. It was complemented by commemorative stones to the left of the path listing many who paid the ultimate sacrifice…

…and once we’d arrived at the Memorial, there were multiple panels commemorating everyone who had died during bombing raids – not just WWII. We also got a superb view of Lincoln itself…

All-in-all, it turned out to be an excellent trip. Denis had enjoyed himself (these days, it’s one of his rare days out), and we’d learned a lot more about the whole ‘Bomber Harris’ debate and the wider impact of bombing raids in general.

Happy Birthday Denis! πŸŽ‚

Palmers and Bricklayers

Reading time: 2 minutes...

Palmers Reunited

The hottest day of the year so far!

A scorcher of a day, as we headed down to Bromley to catch up with Neil, Debbie, Alfie and Frankie.

Just to make a change, rather than our normal haunt of ASK, at the top of the high-street, we chose The Bricklayers Arms, just a five-minute walk from Bromley South station. Last time we all got together was back in August last year, and it was great to catch-up with everyone’s news.

Food-wise, in my case, it was a bit under-par. Clearly the regular Chef was off today, and in his place, they’d recruited someone who works at the local Crematorium! Let’s just say my chicken-burger was very north of ‘well-done’ and if they cooked enough of them, it would have solved the local pot-hole problem! πŸ˜•

The Chef’s other job was in a Crematorium!

Luckily, the Dessert was kinder on my teeth! 😊

Better, much better!

2.15pm: Time for goodbyes as we returned to the baking heat outside. A short walk later we were on the platform. Some unlucky timing and picking the wrong platform for the ‘fast’ to Victoria meant we didn’t board until around 3pm. πŸ˜•

5.20pm: After a very sweaty journey home on the Train, we eventually arrived through the door! But perspiration waits for no-one and by 5.55pm, we were ready for our next jaunt – The Salvation Army’s ‘Concert for Ethiopia’ supporting their work there. We picked-up David and were soon parked, heading for the Kettering Citadel. It was already very busy when we arrived, and initially it was tricky finding three vacant seats – a nice problem to have though!

Concert for Ethiopia

The lack of seats meant tonight was a really well-supported affair – and the two-hour concert didn’t disappoint! For our entertainment: A Junior Brass Band (obviously), a Young Choir, a solo singer – Charlie Green and Kettering’s very own Thomas Fountain on the Cornet. It was all MCed by the Salvation Army’s ever-humourous-and-engaging Jack.

We know Thomas quite well – he played at our Wedding – and we’ve seen him in concert a few times since. With four separate musical pieces, he really made his instrument sing, and is clearly at the ‘top of his game’! In fact, everyone was simply superb in their own way tonight – and the applause confirmed it!

And so did people’s generosity! We’re happy to report that they raised over Β£1000 – and that was in addition to the ticket sales.

8.25pm: It all came to an end after the final upbeat number from the Band. As good as it was though, it had been very warm in there and we were glad to get out into the fresh air. We popped into nearby JS to pick up a few bits-and-pieces for tomorrow’s visit to Denis’s (first time EVER that I didn’t complain that the Store was too cold!) – and then headed home.

9.00pm: We sat outside, where the thermometer in the garden was still reading in excess of 30 degrees!

Phew! What a scorcher today! πŸ˜ŠπŸ‘πŸŒžπŸŒžπŸŒžπŸŒžπŸŒž