Spring Conference Highlights Lincolnshire Home of Aviation
Aviation Heritage Lincolnshire's (AHL) 2012 Spring Conference was held at the Petwood Hotel, Woodhall Spa on Tuesday 20th March. Attended by more than eighty (80) delegates, the conference gave attendees the chance to discuss a wide range of topics in the iconic setting of the former World War II RAF Officers Mess.
A brief review of AHL's recent achievements was presented by the Aviation Development Officer, Phil Bonner and the Outreach and Learning Officer, Dave Harrigan, which highlighted the diversity of the groups that AHL has worked with. In addition to the acclaimed Aircraft Nose Art Competition and the TAKE FLIGHT education resource AHL has worked with: Sound Lincs; the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme; the Scouts; The Prince's Trust; the Blind Society; and the charity Flights For Life.
This session closed with delegates being provided with details of Lincolnshire's 2012 Year of Aviation; a programme of events that will feature ten (10) themed aviation events and activities across the county next year.
Amanda Turner of the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) provided a brief overview of the successes that AHL has achieved so far through its HLF award of £436,000. She concluded with an outline of what type of projects the AHL was currently supporting and how AHL's partner organisations may be able to apply for HLF funding. This was followed by a series of short testimonials from the partner organisations about how they have benefited from their involvement with AHL.
After lunch delegates heard about a new North Lincs Aviation Trail before celebrating the presentation of a framed aviation print to the 2011 winner of the Aviation Passport scheme to Richard Swiderski of Metheringham Fen. This was followed by an update about the 2012 Aviation Passport Scheme, which will be launched on Sunday 1st April 2012; and this year gives entrants the chance of winning two Taxy Rides of the Lancaster 'Just Jane' at East Kirkby.
The culmination of the day's proceedings was a fast paced and amusing keynote address by Squadron Leader Stuart Reid, (RAF Rtd) the former 'Bomber Leader' with the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (BBMF) at RAF Coningsby. During which it became apparent about the strong historical connections that many of the aircraft operated with the BBMF have with aviation sites across the county,
Phil Bonner, AHL's Aviation Development Officer made the following comments about the days' proceedings, “We were really pleased to be able to tell the delegates that in 2011the various sites in the Aviation Heritage Lincolnshire partnership had generated an estimated tourism income of £1.50 million for the county of Lincolnshire.”
He concluded. “Looking forward we have a packed year of events in our Year of Aviation projects and we are really excited about the forthcoming launch of our 'Counting Them Home' portable interactive aviation display.”