On Saturday (7th November 2015) I had the opportunity to attend the unveiling of a replica of the Avro Lancaster S-Sugar B I R5868, Lincolnshire.

The replica has been part of a long-term project Martin has been working on with the help of an incredibly inspiring team. The original Lancaster was originally restored by Martin’s father and in the photo below I have put a side by side comparison of the original photo with Martin just 4 years old sat in the very same location where he took the same journey as his father and unveiled the S-Sugar to us all.

Here’s a little bit from Wikipedia

Lancaster B I R5868 “S-Sugar” is the oldest surviving Lancaster. It was delivered to the RAF in June 1942 and flew for the remainder of the war. It was originally coded as “Q-Queenie” withNo. 83 Squadron RAF from RAF Scampton and then as “S-Sugar” with No. 463 and No. 467 RAAF Squadrons from RAF Waddington. This aircraft was the first RAF heavy bomber to complete 100 operations (going on to fly 137 sorties).

Martin Willoughby - Avro Lancaster S-Sugar

Martin was not only an inspiration to everyone there, but also my father for very personal reasons. Not many people know but Martin has Leukaemia, which is cancer of the blood, just what my father is currently going through. We first met Martin at Castle Hill whilst undergoing treatment, hearing Martins drive and passion behind this project has helped my father tremendously. We feel very lucky to meet someone as special and strong as Martin.

To put things into perspective, Leukaemia affects the bone marrow’s ability to produce white/red blood cells and makes you extremely exhausted, getting out of bed in the morning is a marathon effort. So for Martin to build the S-Sugar, it is absolutely incredible. Personally it makes me think twice when I feel tired!

Here is a small collection of photographs I took on the day. I was so interested in everything / talking too much! I didn’t have much time to take photos, but hopefully soon I will be taking a trip back to take some more.

Martin Willoughby - Avro Lancaster S-SugarMartin Willoughby - Avro Lancaster S-SugarMartin Willoughby - Avro Lancaster S-SugarMartin Willoughby - Avro Lancaster S-SugarMartin Willoughby - Avro Lancaster S-SugarMartin Willoughby - Avro Lancaster S-Sugar