UK Tour: Surprises in Lincolnshire

Having attended the Sywell Great War Airshow on Sunday the 17th, the following day meant that we’d finished our current stay in the Bedforshire area and it was time to head further north once again. This time we were off to Newark-On-Trent for a couple of nights prior to heading to East Kirkby to see the Lancaster ‘Just Jane’ do one of her engine and taxy runs.

View of the church just behind the Newark town square.

View of the church just behind the Newark town square.

Newark turned out to be a pleasant place to stop—it has a laid back relaxed feel to it. After arriving and checking into our (nice) hotel we had a bite to eat at a local cafe, then spent some time strolling around the market that was being held in the town square. As has become somewhat common in the past week or two we then had a beer and meal at a local pub, and that set us up quite nicely for a relaxing evening.

On getting back to  the hotel that evening we discovered a brochure for the local Newark Air Museum and decided that we really needed to stop in there the following morning to check it out. Our first impression upon arriving was that yes, as expected, this was a little back-water aviation museum, of little renown.

Newark Air Museum: North American Super Sabre

Newark Air Museum: North American Super Sabre

Parked on the grass just inside the gate were a Gloster Meteor, and Canberra bomber, both looking a little sad and dejected about spending their retirement outside in the weather. Further into the compound was a Vulcan bomber, and around the back more large aircraft (sitting outside) — another Canberra, Shackleton, Hastings, Lighning fighter, Super Sabre and others—all showing the tell-tale signs of lives outside in the weather, to one degree or another.

Newark Air Museum: Saab Viggen inside on of the unexpectedly impressive display hangars.

Newark Air Museum: Saab Viggen inside one of the unexpectedly impressive display hangars.

Eventually we headed for one of the two nondescript display hangars to see what forlorn displays awaited us inside. This was the first of the surprises for the day! Inside was an impressive collection  of well maintained aircraft and aviation artifacts in a spacious, well lit and well maintained hangar—not what we’d been expecting to find. The second even bigger display hangar was the same, only on a grander scale—a significant number of large aircraft displayed in a great way, in very good conditions.  Turns out our first impressions were wrong and that the Newark Air Museum is a great spot for any aviation enthusiast to while away three or four hours (at the very least) while in the area.

Lincoln: Vast cavernous space within the cathedral.

Lincoln: Vast cavernous space within the cathedral.

Finishing up at the museum we then decided to head to Lincoln for an afternoon of sight-seeing that didn’t involve aircraft.  Driving into the town the first impressive sight was that of the cathedral on top of the hill—certainly a magnificent looking building even from a distance. I’m not sure that we have anything to compare it with in the Antipodes. Eventually we found a carpark, walked through town, and sauntered up (the aptly named) Steep Hill to go and take a look at the cathedral close up. As expected when you’re standing directly underneath the imposing structure it is even more impressive. However, that was nothing compared to walking inside—that was the third surprise for the day. Those of you who have previously been in a building like the Lincoln Cathedral will already understand this, but to those of us who haven’t done it before, stepping inside and experiencing both the vastness of the building, and then the beauty of the stained glass windows as seen from the inside was a revelation.

Lincoln: Stained glass windows as seen form the inside of the cathedral.

Lincoln: Stained glass windows as seen from the inside of the cathedral—it’s a very different view of the windows from that seen form the outside.

All in all it was day of many surprises, so we’re hoping  we have a few more days like this on our trip ahead.

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