Posts Tagged ‘Cranwell Aviation Heritage Centre’

Cranwell Aviation Heritage Museum honours the heroism of RAF aircrew

Friday, March 2nd, 2018

Victoria Cross

Cranwell Aviation Heritage Museum commemorates RAF 100 with its exhibition honouring the heroism of RAF aircrew during World War II.

2018 is set to be an important year for aviation as the Royal Air Force celebrates its centenary. To mark this occasion, Cranwell Aviation Heritage Museum will open their next exhibition on Sunday 1 April 2018 entitled ‘Gallantry in the Air’ honouring Royal Air Force aircrew who were decorated for their bravery during World War II.

Gallantry is defined as bravery shown by someone who is in danger. This exhibition will feature RAF personnel who were awarded UK gallantry medals including Guy Gibson who was awarded the Victoria Cross (VC), Distinguished Service Order & Bar (DSO) and Distinguished Flying Cross & Bar (DFC). Gibson was most famous for leading No. 617 Squadron during the Dam Busters raid in 1943 and was awarded the VC, the highest award of the UK’s honours system. Two of the others that will feature are Leonard Cheshire who was awarded the VC, DSO & 2 Bars, DFC; and ‘Ginger ‘Lacey, one of the RAF’s highest scoring fighter pilots during World War II, who was awarded the Distinguished Flying Medal & Bar.

Heritage Assistant, Angela Riley who has been working on the exhibition said:

“This exhibition has been the most challenging to date in many ways, not least the subject matter. To try to pick a limited number of men to cover in depth from the many, who did enormously brave acts has been difficult, but I hope our selection shows just how utterly brave and in some cases selfless the men of the air are.“

To hopefully make ‘Gallantry in the Air’ particularly relevant to Lincolnshire, many of the aircrew that will be featured were based in the County at some point during their Service careers. Regardless of origin or background, these heroic individuals were determined to serve their country in a time of war and some had to apply to do so on more than one occasion before they succeeded in becoming aircrew.

Leader for North Kesteven District Council, Councillor Richard Wright said:

“We’re very proud that North Kesteven is right at the heart of ‘Bomber County’ and it is important that exhibitions like this allow everyone the opportunity to learn about the bravery of the RAF airmen who have fought in World War II. Their heroism needs to be remembered and respected for generations to come. The RAF 100 anniversary makes this even more poignant.
“It shouldn’t be forgotten, in this year that we celebrate the anniversary of women’s suffrage and the fight for equal voting rights that 168 women flew all types of military aircraft for the Air Transport Auxillary, during WWII, delivering them to forward bases and sadly 15 of them didn’t make it through the war.
“I’d encourage everyone to go and see the display at Cranwell Aviation Heritage Museum.”

Many of the airmen, featured in the exhibition, gained the highest award for their valour with some of them paying the ultimate price. Regardless of their individual circumstances, they all shared at least one thing in common – their incredible acts of ‘Gallantry in the Air’.

This exhibition is open to the public from Sunday 1 April until Sunday 30 September, 10am to 4.30pm. Admission is free.

Balloons over Lincolnshire… Lighter than Air

Monday, July 24th, 2017

Balloons over LIncolnshire

Saturday 30 September to Sunday 25 March 2018

An exhibition exploring the vital role airships and hot air balloons played during World War I and the involvement of the Light than Air Section at Cranwell.

See their development over time including which types of balloon operated from Cranwell; learn about the working life of an airship crew, find out about Zeppelin raids on Lincolnshire as well as the early career of Barnes Wallis, a designer of airships.

Cranwell Aviation Heritage Museum turns 25 years old!

Saturday, June 3rd, 2017

Cranwell Aviation Heritage Museum

Cranwell Aviation Heritage Museum first opened its doors on Monday 8 June 1992 as a visitor attraction detailing the fascinating history of RAF Cranwell to the present day. Following the incredible success of a small airfield trail and the district’s strong links with aviation, it seemed a natural step to create a visitor centre to tell the story of RAF Cranwell; the home of the first military air academy in the world!

Since then the centre has gone from strength to strength and is now a fully Accredited Museum with a passionate team of staff and volunteers. Over the years the centre has grown to include new interactives, a flight simulator and has recently introduced a changing programme of fascinating exhibitions.

Heritage Assistant Angela Riley has worked at the museum for 7 years and says you learn something new every day. ‘I have worked at CAHM for a while now and I think that I can say that every day is an education. I meet so many friendly, interesting and knowledgeable people that it makes my job an absolute joy.’

Volunteers have been vitally important to the running of the museum and over the years it has seen some incredible support. Eric Horner has volunteered at the museum for a number of years and enjoys every aspect of his role: ‘I have volunteered at CAHM for some years now, and am constantly surprised by the range of visitors we receive, from knowledgeable aviation enthusiasts to children who enjoy the interactives. I continue to learn so much from all our visitors while I show them around the site.’

Come along and join in with the celebrations on Saturday 10 June and enjoy a slice of birthday cake and a celebratory toast!

For more information please contact Cranwell Aviation Heritage Museum on 01529 488490 or email For more information about the museum visit

Cranwell Aviation Heritage Centre to kick start season with new exhibition paying tribute to female aviators

Tuesday, February 7th, 2017

Bessie Coleman
Image Credit: NASA

High Flying Women – Pioneering Aviators
Saturday 1 April to Sunday 24 September 2017

From Saturday 1 April, Cranwell Aviation Heritage Centre’s forthcoming exhibition – High Flying Women – Pioneering Aviators will open to the public telling the stories of female aviators from around the world. The exhibition will enable visitors to discover these remarkable women and their love of flight, speed, adventure and service for their countries.

Equally important, the exhibition examines their struggles and rebellion against the conventions of their respective times, in order to realise their dreams; and how they fearlessly took to the air when aviation was a far greater risk than it is today. It will also show that wealth or indeed a lack of it was not an inhibitor of their ambitions.

The exhibition will also highlight the role women played in nursing wounded aircrew, against the conventions of the day.

See how these extraordinary women took different paths to achieve their dream including entertainment, endurance racing, military and nursing service. They all were and still are, reminders that any dream is possible with determination and tenacity.

This exhibition is open to the public from Saturday 1 April to Sunday 24 September 2017. Admission is free.

For more information about this exhibition please contact Cranwell Aviation Heritage Centre on 01529 488490 or email For more information about Cranwell Aviation Heritage Centre please visit