We launched our web pages September 2020, acknowledging the thanks to many who have contributed to this story.
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December 31st 2020 will be the 80th Anniversary of the 1940 ditching of N2980, R for Robert, Wellington into Loch Ness while on a training exercise. The wreckage, forgotten for 45 years, was found and raised 35 years ago this September began it’s remarkable renovation at
Brooklands Museum where it now resides, back home where it was first assembled in October 1939.
It’s finding and raising is a story of serendipity and perseverance. Begun out of a search for the Loch Ness Monster by Robert Rinnes from the Academy of Applied Science, then using new tech- nology scanning, Martin Klein noticed what looked like a twin-engine aircraft on the sonar traces. From a serendipitous lecture, Robin Holmes, from Herriot Watt University became involved, con- firmed it was a Wellington from Barnes Wallace’s geodesic structure, levered funds, and with a consortium of enterprising experts raised the Wellington in 1985. The whole discovery, verification and salvage operation took over 9 years.
The Loch Ness Wellington 2020 Project seeks to celebrate both these events by involving anyone connected with them, including the families of the RAF airmen who flew in Welling- ton N2980 and the people around Inverness, in particular the children, now adults, from Drumsmittal Primary School, who embraced the whole activity with such enthusiasm. The searchers and scanners, the finders and raisers,
the restorers and enthusiasts, the hundreds of volunteers, the writers and documenters, the wit- nesses and their children – all are invited to join us.
Events to celebrate this 80th Anniversary will take place in Loch Ness, Inverness and Brooklands, December 31st 2020 and October 2021 including a ceremony at Inverness Cathedral revealing the potential restoration and replacing of the original memorial plaques along Loch Ness, and (hopefully) a reinactment of the 1988 play ‘R – Robert the Wimpy Finally Goes Home’ put on by Drumsmittal Primary School.
The project is led by a core group of people, all in some way connected to R for Robert, including Tim Harris, who’s father flew R for Robert in the early Battle of Heligoland and who was there for the raising in 1985.
Our web pages aim to collect and link together the story and the people who have been involved with Wellingtons and in particular R for Robert. The information is evolving, and more stories are emerging which will be recorded here or linked to on the pages.
Rachel Kellett September 2020