Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Village Sign - RAF Manby

About a quarter of a mile from me is the corner of what used to be RAF Manby. The airfield was built in the 1930s and was the first airfield in Lincolnshire to have paved runways. Lincolnshire became know as Bomber County as there were so many airfields constructed and used during WWII. The county being next to the North Sea and having plenty of flat agricultural land it was the ideal location to station many bomber squadrons. As far as I can tell there were over 40 airfields in the county.

RAF Manby was somewhat different as, amongst other things, it housed the Air Armament School for training Armament Officers, Air Gunners and Air Bombers. Later it housed the Joint Services Bomb Disposal School.

The airfield continued to be used for many years after the war but by the time I moved here in the early 1970s only the local RAF housing and the Sergeants' Mess were still in use though they were soon sold off. I miss the Sergeants' Mess - good company, cheap ale and two excellent billiard tables. Staff, though living in the officers and married quarters here, worked on the Lightning squadron based at RAF Binbrook.

Where there were bunkers there are now small housing estates. Many of the old buildings were taken over by small business enterprises. East Lindsey District Council established their headquarters in one of the old RAF buildings. The air field was partly returned to agricultural use.

Some years ago, to remember the existence of RAF Manby, a village sign was made to stand at the crossroads:

Grimoldby and Manby Village Sign

Unfortunately this was vandalised and one of the wings was broken off but after many months of work a magnificent new painted replacement was erected recently:

DSCN1250 copy
As the sky was so grey yesterday when I took this photo I made my first attempt at adding a different sky in Photoshop Elements.

My information was gleaned from Bomber County Aviation Resource where a full history can be found.


  1. A good job you made of it.

  2. Adrian: I assume you meant the photo and not the plane. It needs the 'silver' vegetation returning to its true green colour. Hadn't noticed the magic wand had covered those.

  3. Replies
    1. TWG: Many villages have fancy signs though none I have seen has a 3D object like Manby.


Thank you for visiting. Hope you enjoyed the pictures. Any comment, or correction to any information or identification I get wrong, is most welcome. John

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