Notts: Official launch of book that sheds light on county’s aviation memorials

Howard Heeley from Newark Air Museum and Coun Maureen Dobson are pictured at the Winthorpe aviation memorial with copies of the booklet

Howard Heeley from Newark Air Museum and Coun Maureen Dobson are pictured at the Winthorpe aviation memorial with copies of the booklet

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A new booklet which celebrates aviation memorials across Notts has been launched at Newark Air Museum.

A new booklet which celebrates aviation memorials across Notts has been officially launched at Newark Air Museum.

Funded by the County Council’s Supporting Local Communities fund, the booklet – Aviation Memorials in Nottinghamshire – lists in detail the 40 such memorials across the county.

The £5,000 funding from the SLC scheme covered the design work for the booklet and the cost of printing 10,000 copies.

The memorials can be found not just on airfield sites but also in churches, village halls, city streets and at remote countryside locations.

Some are relatively new, while others can trace their origins back decades.

The memorials, some of them raised through public subscription, reflect the lives of national figures like Albert Ball VC; while others are simpler marks of respect that have been erected thanks to the efforts of small groups of individuals.

There are even sculptures and pub signs that highlight the county’s contribution to the development of significant aviation technologies. Collectively, they play a part in helping to commemorate the county’s aviation heritage.

Ranging from Blyth and Mattersey in the north, to Greasley in the west and Bunny in the south, each memorial has a fascinating story to tell

The Winthorpe memorial is based at the Air Museum itself and is number 38 in the booklet.

“Many individuals had travelled from around the world to air bases in Notts to train as World War II bomber crews,” says Howard Heeley from the Museum

“A common bond that joins most of these memorials together is that they commemorate the lives of brave individuals who were lost whilst learning these new skills; often in difficult weather conditions, a long way from home and in a relatively congested airspace, caused by having a lot of airfields so close together.“

Coun Jim Creamer, chairman of the County Council’s environment and sustainability committee, said: “This booklet is a fascinating bringing-together of all the aviation memorials in our county.”

“Not only does it provide the history behind each one but there are map references and directions for how to reach each one.”

“More than that, however, it really makes you want to find out even more about each one and the people whose lives they commemorate.”