Binbrook and Hemswell gain aviation honours this weekend


Two highly distinguished former airfields - Binbrook and Hemswell - are to be honoured with the unveiling of new memorials.

The aviation charity Airfields of Britain Conservation Trust is erecting memorials this weekend so the significance of the former airfields and the people who served there are never forgotten.

On Saturday, a memorial will be erected to recognise the former RAF Binbrook. The ceremony takes place during the Memorial Weekend organised by local group Happy Hearts. Sunday will see another memorial erected, this time at the former RAF Hemswell.

The famous RAF bomber and later fighter base Binbrook opened in June 1940, which saw it host most of the familiar aircraft types in RAF service.

The site closed in 1992, but left behind the village of Brookenby- developed from the marriage quarters.

Hemswell opened first in 1916 and was expanded towards the end of the Great War and used by RAF squadrons for night training. But after summer 1919, its use dropped off until the mid-1930s when it was again chosen as a military airfield.

After World War Two, Hemswell hosted the Douglas Thor nuclear missile, but by summer 1967 the airfield closed. Most buildings have survived for popular industrial and Sunday market use, but the runways no longer exist.

Kenneth Bannerman, head of the Airfields of Britain Conservation Trust, says airfields are a much-neglected part of British history and he hopes the memorials will raise their profile.

The Hemswell unveiling is at 11am at the entrance to the Sunday market. Kenneth Bannerman, who founded the trust, will unveil the memorial with Anne Duguid (nee Veall), a member of the local family.