WONZ 285 – Wings Over Britain: East Kirkby

Guests: John Marshal-East and Andrew Panton

Host: Dave Homewood

Recorded: 4th of July 2023

Published: 29th of September 2023

Duration: 1 hour, 10 minutes, 34 seconds

In this episode Dave Homewood visited the former RAF Station at East Kirkby in Lincolnshire, home of the Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre. This museum is famous for its taxiing Avro Lancaster NX611 Just Jane, and the also taxiing de Havilland Mosquito HJ711, but it is in fact dedicated to all things RAF Bomber Command.

The Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre was created on the former WWII RAF Bomber Command station by brothers Fred and Harold Panton as a place to house their Lancaster bomber, which they’d purchased as a tribute to their brother Christopher, who lost his life while flying operations on Handley Page Halifax bombers with Bomber Command.

Dave spoke with the deputy chief engineer John Marshal-East while he was on site about the efforts of keeping the centre’s aircraft maintained and running, whilst also working on restoring the Lancaster to flying condition at the same time.

At the time of Dave’s visit the centre’s manager Andrew Panton was away, but they caught up later on Zoom to record the second half of this episode. The grandson of the late co-founder Fred Panton, Andrew talks about the museum’s history and his family’s connection, as well as current projects and future plans. Andrew is also one of the pilots rated to give taxi rides in both the Lancaster and the Mosquito to the paying public, both very popular attractions at the LAHC.

Quick Links:

Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre website

Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre on Facebook

I Support Avro Lancaster NX611 Just Jane Facebook Group

The music in this episode is I Vow To Thee, My Country by Gustav Holst.

Above: Avro Lancaster Just Jane.

Above: John Marshal-East with the LAHC’s recently-acquired North American B-25 Mitchell Always Dangerous.

Above: Andrew Panton in the B-25’s cockpit (Andrew Panton photo)

4 comments to WONZ 285 – Wings Over Britain: East Kirkby


    What an awesome episode. I would so Love to Visit East Kirkby so see the sights and be so totally immersed in the RAF heritage there. I follow it from afar. Send donations when I can, and dream of the Day “Jane” takes to the skies yet again.

    Thanks for all you do Dave. I really appreciate you sharing these things. God Bless…

  • Dave Cole

    Fascinating interviews Dave, and very meaningful to me as my late father P/O David E Cole RNZAF flew 36 missions with RAF 630 Squadron from East Kirkby as a Bomb Aimer from 29 August 1944 to 11 March 1945. He met my mother who was a Sergeant in the WAAF at nearby Swinderby where his crew was based briefly before beginning operations at East Kirkby. My wife and I visited the LAHC in 2006 and a highlight was seeing a crew list on a wall in the control tower for an operation Dad went on with his name listed. Some years ago Dad donated copies of his logbook and op bombing photos to LAHC. We were also fortunate to visit RAF Coningsby that day and saw the Lanc, a Spitfire and a Hurricane from the BBMF flying back in from an airshow. Mum had also been based at Coningsby and at Scampton prior to Swinderby. I have since followed developments and further acquisitions at East Kirby with great interest.

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