Thor missile replica finds new home in Lincolnshire
On 22nd October 2012 drivers on various major roads across the West and East Midlands could have been forgiven for thinking they had been transported back in time; perhaps some 50 years to the time ‘Missile Convoys’ in the time leading up to the Cuban Missile Crisis.
Fortunately the ‘2012 Missile Convoy’ was transporting a 2/3rd scale replica of the Thor missile from the Royal Air Force (RAF) Museum Cosford repository to the nascent Cold War collection of exhibits being assembled at the RAF Scampton Museum, just north of Lincoln.
The ‘2012 Missile Convoy’ is pictured in the careful care of Lincoln based Denby Transport Limited on a section of the A46 in Nottinghamshire; very close to RAF Newton, which is believed to be one of the replica missile’s former homes.
RAF Newton was once home to No.9 SoTT (School of Technical Training), which was a ‘Guided Weapons College’, teaching personnel the skills they needed to be RAF technicians in the missile age. The base built up a Missile Museum, which opened in 1963 and displayed an impressive array of weapons from across the history of missile technology. The collection was dispersed during the late 1980s, which is when the replica Thor missile is believed to have been transferred to RAF Cosford.
Once at RAF Scampton the replica Thor missile will be erected into a launch position in the display space in one of the hangars that houses the RAF Scampton Museum. Much of the co-ordination work for this acquisition has been carried out by by staff from Aviation Heritage Lincolnshire, which is funded by a Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) award of £436,000.
Photo Credits – Howard Heeley, Down To Earth Promotions.