On the 16/17 May 1943, 19 specially modified Lancasters took off from RAF Scampton to fly into history and perform a daring mission that has become the most famous of Bomber Command. 617 Squadron frequented the Blue Bell and we commemorated this momentous event by turning the pub back in time to 1943 for a whole week. On Saturday 11th and Saturday 18th May we had a 1940's dance with a 1940's DJ and singer. On Wednesday 15th we held a special dinner held in our Lancaster Room where guests heard a talk telling the story of life in Bomber Command, about the Dam Busters in detail, showed real artifacts and equipment and taking the guests on a typical raid.
In addition on Thursday 16th, the anniversary of the raid we screened the famous 1955 film 'The Dam Busters' starring Richard Todd. The film started at 20.39 (local time) - the exact time the first wave took off from Scampton. Guest Cask Ales were on sale including Tom Woods 'Bomber County', Thwaites 'Lancaster Bomber' and a specially brewed limited edition ale by Oldershaw's for the week only called 'Bouncing Bomber'.
The week was a tremendous success with 617 Squadron Veterans, John Maltby, son of David Maltby who's Upkeep breached the Mohne Dam and the current 617 Sqn GR4 Display Team popping in to say hello and have a beer. Visitors enjoyed the frequent flypasts by the magnificent BBMF Lancaster 'City of Lincoln' overhead. Most importantly, the collection boxes for RAFBF and Leonard Cheshire Disability are now gathering weight and more 1940's weekends will take place later in the year. Keep an eye on this site for our 'Dambusters Challenge'.
Picture copyright IWM.