Corby pupils will see historic Lancaster bomber flypast

Marion Sweeney with the memorial plaque at Eyebrook Reservoir near Corby
Marion Sweeney with the memorial plaque at Eyebrook Reservoir near Corby
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Pupils from two Corby schools will be among 200 guests invited to Eyebrook Reservoir, near Corby, for a flypast by a Lancaster bomber, two Spitfires and two Tornadoes, to mark the 70th anniversary of the Dambusters Raids.

The children from the Old Village Primary and Studfall School, will join local dignitaries at the event on Thursday, May 16.

The event is being held to mark the anniversary of the attack on German dams by the Royal Air Force 617 Squadron.

During the operation, which changed the course of the Second World War, 19 Lancaster Bombers carrying the “bouncing bombs” invented by Barnes Wallis took off from Lincolnshire to destroy the dams of Germany’s Ruhr Valley.

Eyebrook Reservoir, built between 1937 and 1940 by Stewarts & Lloyds to supply water to Corby steelworks, was used as a practice site for the raids.

Marion Sweeney, manager of Eyebrook Trout Fishery, said: “We were contacted by the RAF last August and asked if we would like to take part in the 70th anniversary of the Dambusters Raids.

“It is a real privilege and we were delighted to accept. Unfortunately, because of the infrastructure around the reservoir we have had to limit the numbers coming to this private event but there are several vantage points in the area where people will be able to see the flypast. It will be a big day for Eyebrook and we are all very excited.”

The flypast will take place at 1.45pm, weather permitting, and the formation will fly over the reservoir twice.

There are a number of viewing points in lanes around the reservoir, including Stockerston Bridge, at the top end, Alex Lane hill and the hill out of Stoke Dry.

Among those invited to the commemoration will be representatives from Corby Council, air cadets from Corby and a 78-year-old resident of Uppingham who remembers the practice runs taking place back in 1943.

Pupils have been asked to dress in costumes from the era and there will be activities for them to enjoy on the day.

The flypast is one of a number of events taking place nationally to mark the 70th anniversary of the Dambusters Raids.

On Thursday (May 16) there will also be a flypast at Derwent Reservoir in Derbyshire and the following day BBC Radio 2 will mark the anniversary with a day of special programmes.

The Chris Evans Breakfast Show will come from RAF Scampton, the airfield where airmen of 617 Squadron were based. During the show, Chris will broadcast from a Lancaster Bomber on the ground and is due to fly in the aircraft, which is one of only two in the world still airworthy.