PICTURES: New Gainsborough exhibition tells story of Dambusters raid

Dambusters exhibition at Gainsborough Heritage Centre, pictured is Nathaniel Bramley, nine.
Dambusters exhibition at Gainsborough Heritage Centre, pictured is Nathaniel Bramley, nine.

A new exhibition has opened at Gainsborough Heritage Centre to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Dambusters raid.

The centre’s new temporary exhibition explores the story of the Dambusters raid codenamed ‘Operation Chastise’, the bomber crew, the role of the Naafi, local airfields such as RAF Scampton and the use of the Rose turret through displays and objects of memorabilia.

The Rose rear turret was made and designed by the Rose Brothers, of Gainsborough. A revolutionary design, it was fitted to a large number of ME442 Lancaster-type BIII.

The exhibition also tells the story of Flight Lieutenant ‘Johnny’ Johnson DFC who was one of the original Dambusters and a Gainsborough war hero.

On a particular raid in September 1943, Johnny’s aeroplane crashed and the exhibition details how the underground in different countries helped him to escape.

Johnny attended the opening of the Gainsborough Heritage Centre, and on display is an autographed certificate from May 12, 1995.

As part of the commemorations the heritage centre will be hosting a 1940s Dambusters Ball at The Weston Rooms, on Hickman Street, Gainsborough, on Saturday, May 19. Doors will open at 7pm.

To buy tickets, priced £20, which includes access to the centre’s displays over the weekend of May 19 and 20, visit the Heritage Centre on North Street, visit www.gainsboroughheritage.co.uk, email chairman@gainsboroughheritage.com or call 01427 610526.

The exhibition will be open until July 14.