The official unveiling of a new aviation display at the recently re-opened Grantham Museum will take place on Friday 3rd August 2012 at 13:00. Entitled “Polish Air Force: First To Fight” the temporary display explains the Polish Air Force's role in World War II and it has been placed on loan by the Polish Air Force Association.
Grantham Museum is now managed by the Grantham Community Heritage Association (GCHA) and they have been supported in securing the “Polish Air Force: First To Fight” by the team from Aviation Heritage Lincolnshire (AHL). AHL is funded by a Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) award of £436,000 and AHL's remit is to work with various venues to raise the profile of aviation heritage in Lincolnshire, and promote aviation within schools and colleges.
Grantham Museum is one of ten (10) key sites in the AHL partnership and the museum was re-opened at the beginning of June 2012. This new display will help illustrate the town's strong aviation connections to the county's diverse aviation heritage.
On August 3rd, formalities will commence at 1.30pm and the official opening of the display will be performed in the presence of local civic and military dignitaries; more than fifty (50) representatives from Polish communities across the UK; and other invited guests.
The gathering will also be used for the official launch of another aviation video as part of the AHL 'Talking Heads' oral history project. This latest film features an interview with Tad Weir, who flew Lancaster bombers with 300 Squadron out of RAF Faldingworth, Lincolnshire during World War II and in addition to carrying out 16 missions over enemy territory also took part in Operation Manna, dropping supplies to the starving Dutch in 1945. Tad Weir was born as Tadeusz Wierzbowski in Zgierz, Poland and he is believed to be one of only two surviving Polish Lancaster pilots in the UK.
“The Grantham Museum is extremely grateful for the support and encouragement that it has received from Aviation Heritage Lincolnshire,” commented Graham Jeal, Chairman of Grantham Community Heritage Association, he continued. “We are really proud of the town's aviation connections and are very excited about being able to host this prestigious Polish Air Force display.”
He concluded, “We are also displaying AHL's new Counting Them Home interactive education display, which will complement to Polish Air Force display and provide a real insight into the challenges faced by World War II bomber crews.”