Lancaster Flypast Heads up celebration of 'The Dambusters' at Brooklands
Two Visits for the Price of One as Brooklands Museum Celebrates Barnes Wallis and the 70th Anniversary of the Historic 'Dambusters' Raids of WWII.
Brooklands Museum is marking the 70th anniversary of the historic "Bouncing Bomb" raids of May 1943 – and the role played in them by Sir Barnes Wallis and the Vickers Aviation factory at Brooklands – with two special events over the next two weekends. On Sunday 12th May, the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight's Avro Lancaster bomber will circle above the historic site and a week later on 19th May (the closest weekend date to the actual anniversary of 17th May) the Museum will host a day of celebrations including the chance to meet Veterans of RAF Bomber Command. And anybody wishing to attend both events will be able to do so for just the price of one admission* to the Museum.
Renowned engineer, designer and inventor, Sir Barnes Wallis spent almost four decades working at Brooklands - most notably on the Wellington bomber and the 'bouncing' bomb. On 17th May 1943, RAF 617 Squadron left Britain and headed for Germany to carry out Operation 'Chastise'. The aim of the mission was to breach the Ruhr Dams that produced much of the power for industry in the region using Wallis' "bouncing bomb" and these two events will mark the 70th anniversary of those raids.
12th May 2013 Dambusters Celebration part 1: Lancaster Flypast over Brooklands
The Lancaster of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight will appear over Brooklands Museum just after 11:30am, and is scheduled to circle above the line of the Brooklands track two or three times. The 32 acre site offers some spectacular vantage points to witness this rare visit, including the Members' Bridge and Banking, the Paddock and the vast panoramic views from the Aircraft Park. In addition to the flypast, 'Dambusters'-related films will be shown in the Clubhouse and volunteers will be on hand in the Wellington Hangar to tell visitors about the Museum's Barnes Wallis exhibits. These include a prototype of the "bouncing bomb" (more accurately described as an "aerial mine", code-named "Upkeep" by the War Office) and a model of the catapult used by Wallis to test the theory of its operation, together with examples of the Tallboy and Grand Slam 'earthquake' bombs, the largest conventional bombs used in World War II. Vic Benson, the only known surviving member of the team which Barnes Wallis led at the nearby Burhill Golf Club who designed and built "Upkeep", will also be attending the flypast.
Also visiting the Museum on the 12th May is the TVR Car Club, whose members will be powering their spectacular cars up the famous Test Hill in the afternoon.
19th May 2013 Dambusters Celebration part 2: Bomber Command Veterans
Veterans from Bomber Command will be the special guests at Brooklands in this second instalment of celebrations commemorating the 70th Anniversary of the Dambusters Raids. They will be available to sign memorabilia, prints and books on the day in the Napier Room in the Clubhouse. The Museum shop will also be offering an extensive range of RAF-related merchandise to purchase. In addition to this, there will an afternoon trip by Routemaster bus to local places connected with Barnes Wallis. The bus tour leaves the Museum site at 2.15pm and takes in Burhill Golf Club to see the mansion where Wallis invented the bouncing bomb; from there it will proceed to Silvermere Golf Club which was where small balls were fired by catapult across the surface of the lake to demonstrate the principle of the 'bouncing' bomb and finally, a visit to St. Lawrence Church in Effingham where Wallis is buried, before heading back to the Museum. A talk about Barnes Wallis will take place in the Wellington Hangar at 11am, followed by a demonstration of the model catapult. The Vyners Swing Band will play between 1 and 3pm to add to the atmosphere.
Also taking place on the 19th May is a Classic Breakfast from 8-10am and a visit by the Rudge Motorcycle Club.
*To ensure that those interested in this remarkable anniversary have access to all these special events, Brooklands Museum is offering a special ticket deal of admission to both 'Dambusters' days for the price of one. Anybody buying a ticket on 12th May will receive a pass to visit again on the 19th May free of charge from the normal Museum opening time of 10am (ie not including the Classic Breakfast or the Concorde Experience.
As usual, the breathtaking displays of classic cars, motorcycles, aircraft and London Bus Museum will be open for all visitors to see and virtual flights aboard Concorde will be running on both days. The Concorde Experience must be booked on arrival to avoid disappointment and carries a small additional charge of £4 for adults and £2 for children. Families will be pleased to know that the Sunbeam Café, soft play area and Discovery Centre will keep youngsters occupied.
Normal admission applies to both days (unless the ticket deal is taken up). Entry prices are £10 for adults, £9 for seniors & students, £5.50 for children aged 5-16 and £27 for a family ticket (2 x adults and up to 3 children). The bus tours on the 19th May are free but entry to the Museum must be gained first.
For more information visit: www.brooklandsmuseum.com or call 01932 857381