The Bomber County Gateway Trust is a Registered Charity with the object of designing, constructing and installing an iconic landmark art installation on the county border of Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire.
The area on the A46 immediately North of Brough and close to Collingham represents the natural Gateway to Lincolnshire from the A1 and other major road networks. Many major approach-roads to other counties and cities in the UK feature landmark sights such as the Angel of the North in Tyne & Wear, the Horses in Falkirk, Sheffield’s proposed Man of Steel, the Kent Horse and the Wrexham Dragon.
Lincolnshire is inextricably linked to aviation and in particular its home to the RAF in the Second World War. Significant among the contributions made by the county are the achievements of Bomber Command despite this section of the Royal Air Force being unfairly snubbed and maligned for a number of decades.
In 2012, Bomber Command’s extraordinary contribution and sacrifice was finally recognised by the erection of a £6m memorial in Green Park, London and the new Bomber Command centre, at Canwick Hill near Lincoln also represents further welcome recognition.
The Bomber County Gateway Trust is providing a link to this heritage right on the county border. The structure is an art installation / monument being a full-sized representation of an Avro Lancaster Mk1 Bomber constructed from a steel frame, mounted on a slim steel support structure to give the impression that it is in flight on the horizon.
The Landmark will be seen by more than 30,000 drivers every day on the A46.
The installation represents an Avro Lancaster bomber, in flight, heading “home” to RAF Swinderby, just 3km away. The site is particularly fitting, not only because of its perfect vantage point, but also because a number of aircraft, including Lancasters crashed nearby during the Second World War .
Lancaster R5689 (VN-N) crashed on 18th September 1942 as it limped home from a mission and five members of its crew perished. That aircraft also appears to have been the most photographed Lancaster of the war because it was used in literature intended to train pilots to identify Lancasters, so it’s only fitting that it should be represented and serve as a permanent reminder of Lincolnshire’s link to war-time aviation.
The following image is that aircraft, photographed during the War on the airfield at Swinderby.
Lancasters are very large – 26m long and with a 31m wingspan. This will make the installation similar in size to the Angel of the North which stands 20m tall.
The proposed structure is a mild-steel light structural frame partially clad in mild steel sheet in a similar fashion to the example of a Spitfire below. Once the structure takes on surface rust, the colours will be similar to the markings on an actual Lancaster.
The support structure will be a number of structural steel lattice stands to support the Lancaster approximately 15m above the ground level. This would ensure that the plane appears to be flying above the horizon against the sky when viewed from road level.
No lighting, power or other services are intended to be installed at the site. The delicate eco-system which exists in the vicinity of the site and around Hill Holt Wood, is goes hand in hand with a particularly dark environment at night, which will be preserved.
The site ensures that the structure will be seen from the maximum length of the A46 road but is not so close to the carriageway as to cause any distraction. It would be approximately 440m from the A46. By way of comparison, the Angel of the North in Tyne & Wear is approximately 80m from the A1 and the A167.
View from lay-by on A46 showing high sided trailer in Position