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600 bikers honour bomber crews at Lincoln command centre

Published: 17 May 2019

Updated: 16 May 2019

Over 600 bikes converged on the International Bomber Command Centre in Lincoln on Sunday for the second annual ‘InSpire Ride’, a day dedicated to the commemoration and remembrance of those who gave their lives as aircrew during the bombing campaign of the Second World War.

Two mass ride-ins were organised: a northern group from the Humber Bridge and a southern one starting at Woody’s Bar in Ancaster, both arriving at the IBCC in glorious sunshine after a short tour of the Lincolnshire lanes.

"I love things like this," said Mandy Mansfield from Scunthorpe. "The camaraderie’s great in a big group and you learn a lot, too. More people should do it!"

"It’s also very moving," added pal Janie Medhurst. "When you see all the names on the walls it can be quite emotional."

"It’s wonderful to see so many motorcycles," said 94-year-old Aneurin 'Taff' Owen, who was a wireless operator on Lancasters with 153 Squadron at Scampton, one of nine veterans in attendance. "Bikers often get a bad name, but these are really wonderful people – it’s an excellent turn out."

"To get a group together like this is fantastic," said the IBCC Chief Executive, Nicky van Der Drift. "The story of Bomber Command is incredible and hasn’t been told fully since the war.

The IBCC cost £16m to build, was opened in 2018 and relies on fundraising to keep going. We’re at an age where we are losing veterans rapidly and it was so important to get it built – they’re so moved by the fact that people have come out in such great numbers to hear their story."

Event stats:

  • 604 bikes and 645 people turned up on Sunday
  • The 102-foot spire is the same height as a Lancaster bomber wingspan 
  • 57,861 names remembered on the memorial walls 
  • An estimated £7k was raised from the 2019 ride

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