A wartime airfield has been awarded the sought-after status of full museum accreditation.
Metheringham Airfield Visitor Centre is dedicated to the wartime role played by the former RAF bomber base by preserving original buildings with exhibits and information on its history.
Now the culmination of a two-year bid for museum status means the dedicated volunteers will be able to apply for improvement grants including money to restore a rare Lancaster bomber front gun turret which they bought on Ebay!
Friends of Metheringham Airfield chairman Andy Marson said they were ‘over the moon’, explaining: “It will open up access to extra funding grants and give greater status, so we can improve our displays.”
They need a hangar for the museum’s 1944 wartime Dakota aircraft which they hope to have in time for winter to carry on restoration and repairs. RAF Metheringham was used as the airhead for Dakotas dropping off casualties to be taken to RAF Nocton Hall hospital.
Mr Marson said: “We are applying for planning permission which costs £3,500 and we would need about £60,000 for a hangar.
“We also have a Lancaster front turret we are trying to refurbish for display after bidding for it on Ebay a few months ago. We think we can get the hydraulics working making it the only one on display.”
They also have an early flight simulator for trainee pilots and an AEC Matador Coles airfield crane from 1943 that they are also restoring. They need money and skilled volunteers.
Mr Marson added: “It gives us access to other museums with that status to swap artefacts if need be. For example the Imperial War Museum would only loan items in storage to accredited museums.
“There are lots of Second World War artefacts we would like to have on loan.”