On original site
Within a garden/park/churchyard/enclosure/Marketplace
- Metal Metal (any)
- Other Other
- Stone Sandstone
- Timber Mahogany
Inscribed on a plaque
- Second World War (1939-1945)
About the memorial:
Village Green -2005
On the 4th September 2005 a new memorial to this same Lancaster Bomber crash was dedicated by RAF Reverend Squadron Leader Jonathan Beach from RAF Coningsby. This memorial was conceived with the help of a grant made by the E.E.C. as part of a complete upgrade of the village square. This work, costing in the region of £130,000, also includes new street lighting and paving in the square as part of the village’s development programme by Lincolnshire County Council. The designer of this memorial was Alan Potter, of 28, Park Road, Hamilton, Scotland, who has made many mosaic designs. He has provided a description of each feature of his memorial
1. Memorial Mosaic: 3000 mm diameter overall. Unglazed porcelain centre showing eight doves each with a poppy in its beak representing each of the young airmen bordered by text explaining the circumstances of their deaths. The centre-piece is surrounded by a Celtic knot in granite with eight stainless steel circular plates with details of each of the deceased airmen.
2. Curved Seat: 5000mm long x 450mm wide x 625mm high. Nine buff coloured sandstone supports topped with Iroko hardwood inlaid with brass.
3. Pathway: Light brown/buff resin-bound gravel finish: the photo below shows the path from the south entrance leading to the memorial; the square base is for a waste bin!
4) Pathway Mosaics: twelve mosaics each measuring 450mm x 450mm representing past trades of the villagers.All the above trades have come from workshops held in North Thoresby Primary School.
5) Entrances: Two entrances each measuring 6400mm wide x 1650mm high in buff coloured sandstone and galvanized steel.
The Left hand entrance shows medieval ploughman with oxen (left railing) and modern ploughman with tractor (right railing).
Right hand entrance shows contemporary youth activities and sport (left railing) and BMX cycling and skateboarding (right railing).
These railings were designed with the help of the young teenagers of North Thoresby some of whom were of similar age to the young airmen who are remembered in the memorial.
The handrail represents a sheep 1900mm wide by 900mm high
The memorial is sited on the village green
All the work on the memorial was designed, made and installed by Alan Potter except for the resin-bound gravel, which was done by a company called Sureset Ltd.
Squadron leader Jonathan Beach dedicated the memorial: Chris Lyons sounded “The Last Post”
An article in the local evening newspaper
JOY AND SADNESS AS MEMORIAL UNVEILED
12:30 - 05 September 2005
A day of sadness and joy in equal measures was experienced by villagers yesterday.
At a special memorial dedication service they enjoyed the pomp of military parade, the unveiling of a beautiful conservation area and saw a Lancaster bomber fly overhead. But tinges of sadness were palpable as people remembered the eight crewmen tragically killed on a training mission in 1943.
During his emotional service at North Thoresby village green, RAF Reverend Sqdn Ldr Jonathan Beach made a stirring speech that still has resonance today.
He said: "We pray for those who are scarred by conflict and all who grieve the loss of comrades and loved ones.
"We pray for reconciliation in those places where there is still violence and bloodshed.
"And we pledge ourselves to work and pray for justice that it may prevail throughout the world."
After a poignant minute's silence, Salvation Army leader Chris Lyons blew a rousing call to reveille that signalled it was time for the laying of the wreaths.
Among those who laid their poppy tributes was RAF Coningsby Wing Commander Peter Wallace and 100 Squadron Association member John Ginger Stevens, the only person at the ceremony who served in a bomber during the Second World War.
The service, which also included a prayer from the North Thoresby vicar, the Rev Bob Emms, was brought to a spectacular close by the only surviving Lancaster bomber in commission today, which made five flyovers.
It was the same famous plane that dropped one million poppies at The Mall outside Buckingham Palace at a VE Day service in July.
Mr Stevens had travelled from Surrey to pay his respects.
The 80-year-old said: "When you get a day like this a five-hour drive is nothing.
"It is amazing because this is the year the Lancaster gets its overhaul.
"It will be given the number of “100 Squadron” this year.
"This is its last appearance before that so it is very special."
Hamilton artist Alan Potter was the man behind the redevelopment of the village green.
He had help from school children and members of the community during the design of the area.
There are 12 special mosaics designed by North Thoresby Primary pupils around the central memorial display, special railings and benches.
He is pleased with how the area is looking, which was done as part of the village's development programme.
Mr Potter said: "I looked at the history of the town and the plane crash was arguably the most significant event in its history.
"Also a lot of people here wanted it to be the subject for the village green when we held public meetings."
DAY IT RAINED TRAGIC DEBRIS
12:30 - 24 September 2005
The recent dedication of a memorial in North Thoresby to eight men who died in a tragic accident on a training flight prompted FRED ROBINSON of Mill Road, Market Rasen, to send in these moving memories of what happened on that fateful day.
Having attended the ceremony for the dedication of the memorial erected for the crew of the Lancaster bomber in the centre of North Thoresby on Sunday, September 4, and to see the large crowds of people who came to show respect for those brave men, was unbelievable. Being interested in incidents like the one which happened on that fateful day, I recorded at the time what my late brother saw on October 4 as it was against the rules to talk about such incidents in public during the war - as "careless talk could cost lives".
He was operating a threshing machine on a farm at Brigsley and was just checking the time on his pocket watch to see if it was break time.
The time was exactly 12.50pm and, at that moment, he heard a terrific explosion at a great height - and debris began falling which resembled a flock of crows falling from the sky, with some large pieces and some tiny fragments. The largest pieces he saw appeared to be red in colour and he presumed they were the fuel tanks.
An aircraft had exploded over Brigsley and Ashby-cum-Fenby. The wreckage was falling in a south-easterly direction towards Grainsby, where two engines fell at the entrance to the park and, at almost three miles away from the explosion, over the village of North Thoresby.
A large piece of wreckage fell in the centre of the village demolishing part of the chapel.
I was told the monument stands only a few steps from where the chapel, which has since been demolished, then stood.
The memorial is the property of the village of North Thoresby, and the local council will be responsible for its upkeep. It is expected that every year a memorial service and fly past will be conducted by the Battle of Britain flight.
Much of the work to organise this new memorial was carried out by Mr. David Barnett,
“Langholme”, The Square, North Thoresby, Lincolnshire, DN36 5QL, in conjunction with the Lincolnshire Aircraft Recovery Group.
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