Due to the COVID-19 pandemic was sadly not been practical or indeed possible to celebrate the 80th anniversary 31 December 2020 in an all singing dancing way. We still hope to have a reunion when COVID and time permit.
Our legacy will be a plaque at Jacobite Cruises to commemorate all parts of the story, and our web pages, in which we have gathered fresh and first hand information from the ditching and the lifting.
The project has united and linked many people – including Tim Harris and Rachel Kellett, who had never met before, although their father/uncle had – and for this we thank Jack Waterfall, who is the inexhaustible networker, and joiner. It all began with H39… And then finding Ian Benzie, and the original recording of the school play at Drumsmittal school.
We did however, have a remarkable service in Inverness Cathedral…
Organised by Vic Attwell, this was a beautiful, touching service at Inverness Cathedral, which came live at 3pm on 31 December 2020. It was filmed by Ian Forsyth.
Plaque to remember
We will finalise, fund and fulfill the making of a plaque to be installed on the jetty of Jacobite cruises which tells the story of the Loch Ness Wellington, remembering many of those involved in R for Robert including the pilots who miraculously steered her to relative safety into the waters of Loch Ness.
Exhibition Inverness / Morayvia
Longer term we hope to have an exhibition of R for Robert Exhibition on permanent display at Morayvia Aviation Museum. The exhibition will include wreckage of the plane salvaged, and original documents of that time, displayed on a series of information boards relaying the various parts of the story. A TV Monitor with the film One of our Bombers is Missing will be on loop.
Other places of interest which have some of the story are as follows:
RAF Mildenhall – tour – N2980’s first wartime base
RAF Cosford Museum – to view the only other surviving Wellington bomber in existence.
Wellington Layby – long term we hope to be able to formally rename this layby the Wellington Layby. It was here that the pilots landed after they ditched in Loch Ness on the night of 31 December 1940, and where a passing lorry gave them a lift to Inverness where they could partake of the new year celebrations.