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International Bomber Command Centre Memorial Spire installed at Canwick Hill

Written by on 10th May 2015


The Memorial Spire, the first and significant and visible development in the building of the new International Bomber Command Centre at Canwick Hill, Lincoln has been installed on site and now reaches towards the sky in memory of all those who served and died in Bomber Command during World War Two.

The Memorial Spire’s design is based on two wing fragments. The height of the structure is 102ft (31.09m), which is the wingspan of the Avro Lancaster; the width at the base is 16ft (5m), which is the overall width of a Lancaster wing.

Having traveled from Yorkshire, where it was engineered by S H Structures Ltd of Sherburn in Elmet, the 102ft Memorial Spire was transported on two low-loaders arriving safely on site on Sunday May 10, 2015 at 8.50am.

Engineers then worked tirelessly over 6 hours to install the Spire. Over the forthcoming weeks they will carry out site welding and finessing, with the structure due to be completed in late May.

The entire project will comprise of the The Memorial Spire and walls, The Chadwick Centre, Bomber Command Digital Archive and Memorial Park and will provide a central hub for the Bomber Command story to be told both at a national and international level as well as providing a world-class facility to serve as a point for for recognition, remembrance and reconciliation.

Comments Project Director, Nicky Barr, “This is a tremendous moment for the project and provides the first visible and tangible element. So many people have worked extremely hard to get to this stage and the erection of this publically visible Memorial validates their efforts. There is lots more work to be done and it is hoped that the Memorial will inspire many more people to get involved.

Nicky Barr was on site and proud, as she tells Siren FM’s Sebastian Edgington – Cole

As the upper section of the Spire was being lifted into position, Lord John Taylor of Holbeach, one of the Trustees of the Project, spoke to Siren FM’s Ed Wellman. He reflected on the importance of remembrance for the future.

As supporters and local media gathered, the first low-loader arrived.


The base section is gently hoisted towards an upright position ready to be lifted onto the platform.


The lifting gear and chains take the strain as the metal structure begins to look like the Spire.


The base part of the Spire is now upright and we await it’s lifting into position.


Lincoln Cathedral keeps a watchful eye across the City as the lower section is secured in place. The upper section lies in front.


The weather isn’t looking good, and it is getting very windy on Canwick Hill as skilled engineers begin to raise the upper section.


A crucial moment as the gusts increase, but all is going to plan as the upper part of the Spire is hoisted into position.


Engineers are inside the lower section as the upper part is lowered with great precision.


The moment we have all been waiting for. Success. The two parts click into place.


Architects and engineers inside and outside the 102ft Spire make final adjustments.


And the International Bomber Command Spire proudly takes its place on the Lincoln skyline.


Photos: Ed Wellman for Siren FM

It is hoped that the International Bomber Command Centre at Canwick will be opened officially in October 2015.

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