IN REACH OF THE SKIES

ONCE IN A LANC TIME

And this is what I experienced:

All too soon the flight was over and it was back on the ground and time for a few pictures.

This was an amazing experience that will stay with me. There were some good guys on the flight and the CWH crew really impressed me with their friendly approach both before and after the flight and I had managed to get on the very first flight in the UK.

A few days later we were in Cambridgeshire staying with a friend. As we were not too far away we headed over to Marham where I knew the Lancasters were displaying as part of the Marham families day. Getting lucky with a parking space close to the field I waited with a good many others for the sound of merlins. Shortly they appeared but had company, Vulcan XH558 was leading them in. What a surprise. The Vulcan departed after one pass but it had been a glorious sight.

The following Sunday it was off to Dunsfold. As with Headcorn I bought tickets in advance but whereas Headcorn was was busy and a little slow to get in the queue for Dunsfold made me wonder if we might be out of luck. However, five miles or so and more than an hour later we were in. The weather was again in our favour and the display made the queue worthwhile.

For me that concluded 'Big Week' (OK, it was actually eight days) and was the end of my personal experience of 'Once in a Lanc Time'. The CWH Lancaster was of course in the UK for another four weeks but I called off an intended trip to see her at Duxford due to anticipated crowd size. A record of more than 17,000 tickets were sold in advance of her attendance at the Sunday show and a great many failed to get in so I probably made the correct decision.

One of the last appearances made by the Lancasters was over the Derwent dam. I called by a couple of weeks later to look at the memorial but, although I did not witness the flypast, I close with a picture taken by Gary, my good friend that shared the viewing balcony with me at Hamilton in 2012.

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