Farwell to XH558 from Lurgashall
Britain's last flying bomber, the Avro Vulcan XH558, will be making a special detour via Lurgashall to say her final goodbye to the village as part of her “Farewell to Flight” flypast tour over southern England on Sunday 11th October 2015.
Villager Jacquie Lawson said aviation expert and Vulcan display commentator Sean Maffett is one of the Vulcan team and an old personal friend of hers.
She said: “Sean stays in Lurgashall when the Vulcan appears at Dunsfold Wings and Wheels and Goodwood airshows, hence this village’s rather special relationship with a very special British icon.”
The aircraft is due to be permanently grounded at the end of the current flying season, but during the southern leg of the countrywide tour this weekend she will be making a detour to say goodbye to Lurgashall.
For the past six years, on August Bank Holiday weekends, the mighty Vulcan has thrilled thousands at Wings and Wheels, but Lurgashall residents have had a “private display” during the favourite holding point en route to Dunsfold.
This August Bank Holiday, however, plans were thwarted when the village planned a special “farewell thank you” – first because of cricket, then because of the weather.
Jacquie said: “Residents collected old white sheets, which they cut up to form eight-foot long letters to lay on the Green, spelling out FAREWELL XH558 – and the Vulcan arranged to have a roving camera fitted in her bomb bay, so the pilots could record the village’s efforts from the cockpit.
“On the Saturday, due to cricket being played on the green, the villagers were unable to lay out their message, but nonetheless she gave her usual glorious ‘Lurgashall Air Show’ display. As always, bats, balls – and jaws – dropped as she roared across the green with her dipped wing ‘hello’ no less than three times. And in the score book? Vulcan stopped play!
“On the Sunday morning, the locals laid out their sheet-written message on the green, and awaited her arrival – then came the disappointing news: seriously bad weather north of Oxford had forced her to turn back to her home at Doncaster’s Robin Hood Airport.
She added: “But for Sunday, between such exalted local venues as RAF Coolham, Dunsfold and Farnborough, she will be making a very special detour via Lurgashall to say her final ‘goodbye’ to the village. ETA Lurgashall: 1400 hours. Not to be missed.”
For more information on the Vulcan please visit http://www.vulcantothesky.org