Expansion Plan Underway
Canada's Bomber Command Memorial
Merlin Engine To Run
On The Road Again
NLS Annual Main Event August 20, 2005
Sixth Annual Fly-In
The Red Deer Lancaster
Halifax Recovery Report
The Society And The Halifax
Next Generation Volunteers
Of Visitors & Things
The Whitfield Family
1941 BCATP Truck Donated
Museum Manager's Report
An American Air Gunner
Tribute To The Warren Twins
NLS Restorer Of Many Things
Lanc Elevators Restored
Member Profile -Fred Hollowell
The Anson Restoration
Ode To An Anson
April 23 -Clean Up Day
Initial plans are now in the works for a much needed expansion of the museum building. After several meetings with Civil Engineer Ron Switzer, a decision was made to add to the existing structure, rather than build a separate building for display and assembly of aircraft.
The addition will be to the north side of the museum, adjacent to the existing shop and will add about 9,000 square feet to the museum. This space will allow the Avro Anson, Cessna Crane, N. A. Yale, etc., now under restoration to be assembled and displayed.
Funding for this addition is underway, with about half the estimated $350,000, needed for the first phase, already in place. It had been hoped these funds could be used for matching a Alberta Facility Enhancement Grant. Unfortunately, Nanton's inclusion in a different provincial constituency where other community projects are already accessing this grant, monies are not available at this time. We are in the process of looking for funding help from other sources, such as the corporate world, Royal Canadian legions, and service clubs.
Each summer we attempt to have the museum's "Traveling Display" become part of a number of aviation related events in order to promote the museum and to make the history of Bomber Command and the BCATP part of these events.
We've spruced up our display and this year we hope to attend the Saskatchewan Air Show (July 9, 10), Nanton Lancaster Air Museum Fly-In (July 16), Reynold's Museum's Aviation Days (Wetaskiwin) (July 17), Lethbridge Air Show (July 30,31), and Comox Armed Forces Day (August 7). We'll likely be other places as well so watch for our "Traveling Display."
July 16, 2005, is the date of the Society's annual fly-in, which will be held at the AJ Flying Ranch, seven miles north of Nanton.
The Nanton and District Lions Club will be serving a pancake and bacon breakfast from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. The charge will be $5 for all you can eat! Royal Canadian Air Cadet Squadron #185 will be cooking up hamburgers at noon.
Weather being cooperative, the Society hopes to see an increase in attendance over last year's 74 aircraft that attended. It is hoped to have several vintage aircraft and some "warbirds" on hand in addition to ultra-lights, home builts, as well as the usual factory built Cessnas, Pipers, etc.
All pertinent information about this fly-in will be posted on the museum website, www.lancastermuseum.ca The fly-in is open anyone interested. Come and enjoy!
In April, I will be speaking to the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) chapter in Montreal about the project. In addition the Air Force Association (Western Canada) is having their AGM on April 29/30 in Kelowna, B.C. Their executive has invited me to be the guest speaker at their dinner. I will do my best to gain support for our special project.
On the U.S. front, Reverend Bob Bluford of Richmond, Virginia, (a B-24 Liberator pilot with the USAAF) whose friend Mel Compton flew LW170 in combat, is 110% behind this project. He wants to make sure those 700+ Americans killed-in-action in the RCAF are not forgotten. We will be meeting later in April with influential people in Richmond and Washington, D.C. to rally support for the Halifax Project in the U.S. I also hope to meet with the new Canadian ambassador to the U.S.A., Frank McKenna, to gain his support in promoting the Halifax Project as a possible joint historic project to celebrate the victory and remember the sacrifice of RCAF warriors of Canada and the U.S.A.
Since last fall the museum shop has been happy to have two and sometimes three, 12 year old boys helping on Tuesday evenings after school. Anthony Provost was the first young fellow to come in after his mother asked if there might be a volunteer job for him. Anthony soon had some of his friends involved. At the time of this writing (mid April) there are two boys attending fairly regularly.
The boys have been given jobs helping adult volunteers, plus using the glass-bead machine to clean aircraft fittings for the Anson project, painting display cabinets, cleaning up the shop, etc. So far, these youngsters seem to be enjoying being part of the shop scene, even doing the menial tasks.
The Society hopes to involve them further in one of the on-going restoration projects in the near future.
A Dodge 1 1/2 ton truck was donated to the museum in 2004 by Dwayne Leech of Nanton, AB. It is pictured above as received. The lower inset photo shows the letters, RCAF C1H9-C42 that were painted on the driver-side door. The truck needs a front axle and a full set of tires, but otherwise it is complete and restorable. An axle is available locally. Does anyone know of a source of the original 20 inch military type tires used ?
The truck's history is not known, but it is assumed to have been used on a base here in southern Alberta. The Society will be looking into the possibility of a government grant to help restore this vintage vehicle.
Our belated THANKS to Dwayne Welsh for donating this wartime truck.
Charlie Cobb is one of our dedicated Calgary volunteers who has been driving out every Tuesday for several years to work in the shop. Charlie is willing to work on any project. He has done everything from restoring intricate bombsights to helping mold Plexiglas. He was involved with restoration of the Bristol Blenheim bomber in 2000 and the Lancaster rear turret last year.
Probably Charlie's most ambitious accomplishment is the restoration of two Bristol gun turrets. One is soon to be installed in the Blenheim. The other is an individual display (unveiled in 2004) which has the potential to be "runnable."
Charlie is presently overhauling a T-1 bombsight, the type used in Lancasters. To Charlie Cobb, our GRATEFUL THANKS!
Both elevators will be reinstalled on the Lancaster sometime this summer. They will be painted prior to installation by our long-time volunteer, Maurice Galli, from Rocky Mountain House, Alberta. Maurice is an oilfield equipment painting contactor. He will be in the Nanton area sometime in May to paint the elevators in their camouflage top and black undersurface.
We won't attempt to list the names of all the volunteers who helped with this project, as nearly every shop volunteer has had something to do with getting them to this stage. A grateful THANKS to all the volunteers who made this happen!
While many volunteers have worked at restoring the Lancaster elevators over the past several years, Gordon Neu has been there through the fabric application, the rib stitching phase, and has made all the inspection covers for both elevators. Making the inspection covers was a very time consuming part of restoring the elevators. Each elevator has some 10 different aluminium inspection covers, each with their associated metal receiver plates that had to be cemented into the fabric covering. Gordon's panels look like factory made panels and they are only one example of the exacting work he has done on these control surfaces.
Fred Hollowell has been traveling to Nanton, from Calgary, to volunteer for nearly as long as the NLS has existed.
In July of 1987, Fred one of a team of volunteers that recovered a derelict Avro Anson from the Markle farm near Stavely, Alberta. His report on this adventure was printed in the Fall 1987 NLS newsletter.
Fred has been a shop volunteer ever since 1988 when Mrs. McGowan "loaned" the Society the vacant shop on her acreage at the edge of the town of Nanton. That year he was instrumental in having his employer, Shell Canada, donate a glass bead cabinet for cleaning parts. Another Calgary volunteer had an air compressor donated to operate it.
Over the years Fred has been part of the on-going restorations, including a Jacobs engine, a towing tractor, and the Lancaster. For the last several years Fred has assisted with refurbishing the Lancaster cockpit, helping to replace wiring and controls, etc. More recently he has been part of the engine crew that has been working on Merlin engine #3 readying it to run at this year's main event.
Fred Hollowell's dedication is one of the reasons our museum has become a major player in preserving WWII aviation history. THANKS FRED!
-by Andy (#7 SFTS, Fort Macleod)
Oh, the Crane may fly much faster,
Inside she may be neat,
But to me the draughty Anson
Is very hard to beat.
Her plywood may be warping,
Her window glass may crack,
But when you start out in an Anson
You know that you‚ll come back.
She may be a flying greenhouse,
With her windows all around,
But in that draughty Anson
You're as safe as on the ground.
She may creak and she may shudder,
As she comes out of a dive,
But if her pilot knows his stuff
She'll bring him back alive.
Her landing gear is sturdy,
It will stand for quite a drop,
If you doubt it, watch your students
Bring her in, and let her flop.
Fifteen, twenty, twenty-five,
She doesn't care a jot,
All in all, our Anson
Will stand for quite a lot.
The wind may make her weather-cock-
That's nothing to these craft,
For when you fly an Anson
You never mind a draft.
You can keep your Moth and Battle,
Your Harvard and your Crane,
Give me the good old Anson
In which our pilots train.
When she comes in with a panel,
All split from front to rear,
And the rigger starts to fix it-
They don't need a lot of gear.
A chisel and some plywood,
Some brads and a pot of glue,
Quite a bit of elbow grease
And very soon they‚re through.
They wheel her back out to the line,
Her Cheetahs start to cough-
Our Anson knows there‚re lads to train
And she's eager to be off.