17 September 2014

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50 year first as last two Lancasters fly in formation over Derwent Dam

Severn Trent Water is working together with the Royal Air Force’s Battle of Britain Memorial Flight because, this Sunday, the last two Lancasters will fly over the Derwent Dam for the first time in 50 years – weather and aircraft serviceability permitting.

A host of volunteers and Severn Trent, Peak Park and Derbyshire County Council workers, will be helping to make the special event possible.

The RAF BBMF’s Lancaster will be joined by the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum’s ‘V-RA’ which has flown across the ‘Pond’ for a series of summer events. A Hurricane and Spitfire will also pass over the Derwent Dam, all at around 4.45pm on Sunday 21 September on their way back to RAF Coningsby from Southport Air Show. Squadron Leader Mason, Officer Commanding BBMF said “It has been a milestone in BBMF’s history to fly with V-RA in the UK. To carry out a flypast over the Derwent Dam will be a fitting finale before the Canadians make their long trip home next week. Used to train for the famous Dambusters Raid by 617 Squadron in 1943, the dam is part of our nation’s history. To carry out this flypast on Sunday will be a significant part of the RAF’s and the BBMF’s heritage."

Dambusters 2013

Katy Shaw, head of visitor sites at Severn Trent Water, said: “We’re supporting the Lancasters’ flyover and it’s our aim to make sure that visitors to the Upper Derwent Valley have fun. On the day, the best place to view the planes is up on the moor alongside the reservoir, so you can see right down the valley. It is a stunning location, so you could always tie in the flight with a walk in the area earlier in the day.

“Before the day, we’d like to remind people that there are limited parking spaces in the area. We’ve made arrangements for approximately 500 cars to be accommodated in our car parks and we’ve also organised additional spaces for a few hundred cars on the roadside. We’d like to ask people to park in the designated areas and if possible, to share a car for their trip. For those who want a completely car-free journey, The Dambusters Bus, ‘Shuttle 222’, will be running – the first and last buses of the day call at Bamford Station at 8.45am and 5.50pm.

“Traffic will be able to access the Fairholmes Visitor Centre, which is very close to the Derwent Dam. We’ve worked with interested parties so that the road from the A57 to Fairholmes can be temporarily closed if it becomes congested, to allow emergency vehicles to travel to and from the reservoir, if needed. We’re grateful to all of our volunteers and partners for making this event possible, and we hope that it’s a memorable day for everyone.”

Severn Trent Water has also organised for local volunteers and its rangers to be available to help and answer questions. In preparation for the flyover, the company has worked closely with organisations including the local emergency services, the Peak District National Park Authority, Derbyshire County Council and the RAF.

The Upper Derwent Valley is a popular visitor attraction with more than one million visitors per year. The site is renowned for its natural beauty and is managed by Severn Trent Water in partnership with Peak District National Park Authority.

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