The adventures of Jack Jack

The adventures of a first time Mummy and my son Jack.

Archive for the tag “Lancaster”

Making memories at RAF Coningsby

Jack, Daddy and I are big fans of The Battle of Britain aircraft (Spitfires, Hurricanes and Lancaster bombers) and are lucky enough to live just down the road from RAF Coningsby  where the Battle of Britain memorial flight is based.

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This year is very special in the RAF world as the only two flying Lancaster bombers are flying together for the 1st time in over 60 years. A Canadian Lanc called ‘Vera’ has joined our Lanc called ‘Thumper’ for the 2Lancs tour, flying at displays and events around the country .

There is another Lancaster at East Kirkby called  ‘Just Jane’, which unfortunately does not have its airworthy certificate but does taxi along the runway. Through The Battle of Britain memorial flight facebook page I learnt that ‘Vera’ and ‘Thumper’ were flying over ‘Just Jane’ while she taxied along the runway and that it would only happen on two different days (2nd and 7th of September), a once in a lifetime sight.

Daddy and I decided that with Jacks nursery taster session on the morning of the 3rd it would be better to aim for Sunday 7th of September, and it was lucky that we did as the fly over on the 2nd was cancelled while ‘Vera’ had an engine replaced.

It wasn’t until that cancellation that I learnt the events were ticket only to see all 3 Lancs and both events were sold out, however the two airworthy Lancasters would be returning to base at RAF Coningsby shortly after and they have a viewing car park that allows you to watch aircraft take off and land. As a bonus RAF Coningsby is slightly closer than East Kirkby, a plus when you get travel sick and have a restless 2 year old in the car.

When Sunday afternoon came round the three of us packed a few snacks for the journey and my Ipad and camera (to take as many pictures as possible) and set off for the 40 minute journey. When we got there the car park was overflowing and people were parking on the embankment along the side of the road, luckily we found a space and once parked got a good spot at the fence.

Jack not really knowing what we were waiting for started to get restless and this is where the snacks came in handy. Munching away happily he stood by my side while Daddy, I and everyone around us scanned the skies and tried to listen for the sound of eight roaring Merlin engines over the noise of the passing traffic.

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A man standing next to me nudged my arm and pointed at a hangar across the airfield, telling me

“there they are”

Now I have 20/20 vision but do have trouble picking out details on light backgrounds such as the bright blue sky that day. I couldn’t see a thing and was getting more and more frustrated as the excited muttering around me grew and even Daddy said

“I can see them, their over there”

Where!!! I can’t see them.

It was at that point we heard the faint growl of the engines and even Jack piped up

“Airpane!!”

Ah right THERE they are, I see them now.

I took tight hold of the reins I had on Jack, knowing full well he would try to charge off in the direction of the aircraft and selected the camera option on my shiny new Ipad while Daddy was on camera duty.

We couldnt have picked a better spot at the fence as they flew a lap of the base, right over our heads!

With Jack mesmerised by the sight while Daddy and I frantically took as many pictures as we could, hoping they wouldn’t be blurry.DSCN056610416608_10204335592648300_6535720476400245575_n10612720_10204335592608299_5487290964862894593_nDSCN0577

 

Within a few minutes both ‘Vera’ and ‘Thumper’ had landed and J lost interest again, until Daddy put him on his shoulders for a better view.

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That afternoons excitement caught up with J on the journey home as he nodded off, Brewer the bear in hand of course.

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I am very privileged to have seen the once in a lifetime sight of the last two flying Lancasters and Jack has been telling me about it ever since.DSCN0588

Have you experienced a once in a lifetime sight?

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My future meet our past

Last Sunday Jack went for a sleepover at his Nanny’s and what an adventure he had.

While we were enjoying hot cups of tea and scrummy egg and bacon butties he filled his days playing with his cousins in the garden and going out with his Grandad.

Unfortunately it chucked it down for the whole of Monday but my Mother in law tells me Jack wasnt fazed, and spent all day shadowing his cousins and insisting they watch Peppa pig with him, over and over.

By Tuesday the weather was slightly better and Nanny took all four boys swimming. Jack loves water but he doesn’t like getting changed into his swimming trunks or getting out the get dry, this time however he threw a fit because he couldn’t follow his cousins into the boys changing room. Instead he had to follow Nanny into the girls and continued to scream the place down until he was dry and dressed and back with his cousins.

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After a quick lunch to refuel the 4 of them were off the aviation heritage centre in East Kirkby, Lincolnshire with Grandad. East Kirkby is the home of a Lancaster called Just Jane, as well as many other aircraft and vehicles. There is also a visitors centre where you can buy a taxi ride up the runway in Just Jane and learn more about her as well as a memorial chapel to remember the fallen.

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I have to say I am slightly jealous as I have always had a fascination with the battle of Britain aircraft, mainly the Lancaster and this year marks the 1st time in 50 years since 2 Lancasters have flown together. Thumper from RAF Coningsby (part of the battle of Britain memorial flight) and the only other flying Lanc in the world, a Canadian Lanc called Vera. Just Jane doesn’t have her airworthy certificate but still sends shivers down your spine when she taxi’s down the runway.

As this year marks the centenary of the first world war, I believe it is incredibly important to teach the next generation about the sacrifices made so they never have to live through those sort of horrors.

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Jack certainly got a taste of history during his visit, seeing not only Just Jane but also a Dakota which is a Normandy (D-Day) and Arnhem (Market garden) veteran having flown in the conflicts, as well as other vehicles.

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We spent our Tuesday taking a lazy wander around Boundary mill, enjoying having all the time in the world rather than trying to juggle 100 different things. We looked in the toy section for dinosaurs (J’s new obsession) but at £15 for a hand sized toy they were certainly too expensive for my tight budget. Every time we got to Boundary mill I have to pop in the garden centre to look at the tiger oscars.

I used to have one who we rescued from a dirty disgusting tank and nursed back from the brink of death. I named her Luna, short for Lunatic because she attacked everyone else but me, she even tried to savage a workman who was plugging something into the extension lead near her tank. She had fin rot and worms when she came to me and after a lot of hard work she returned to full health and full naughtiness but always had a soft spot for me and would nudge my hand until I stroked her.

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I had to stop myself taking all the baby oscars home but luckily I had my hubby with me to keep me grounded, if not I’d have a house full of fish by now. While in the garden centre we spotted a stand full of RAF battle of Britain merchandise and to my delight they had a pocket notebook with a Lanc on the front (coincidentally the aircraft J was looking at around the same time), perfect for all my blogging notes.

On Wednesday my baby was home and within 20 minutes of being back had already asked for his favourite snack (apple and cheese) and when I gave it to him he said “thank you, love you”
Then he saw me cleaning the floor, asked for the mop and started mopping for me.

The rest of our week was spent playing indoors away from the rain and cold wind. We played airplanes (and Mummy didn’t duck in time, ouch), read stories and used his mega blocks to build the tallest tower we could.

Today we’re off to my mums for Sunday lunch along with my Brother, sister in law and 2 little nephews. A busy, excitable, scrummy way to finish off a fun packed week for J.

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