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AIM Pilgrim Trust Remedial Conservation Grant – Metheringham Airfield Visitor Centre
Metheringham Airfield Visitor Centre – AIM Pilgrim Trust Remedial Conservation Grant
Conservation of WW2 Rescue Dinghy
Metheringham Airfield Visitor Centre, a small accredited museum located in rural Lincolnshire on the former domestic site of the wartime airfield RAF Metheringham, had a rare five-man dinghy used by air crew during World War II in its stores.
Following an AIM funded Conservation Audit in 2019 the dinghy was identified as being in need of care and conservation. A Remedial Conservation Grant was applied for and following a successful bid, George Monger was commissioned to do the work. The dinghy returned to the centre in April 2021 and we were so pleased to see it back and in such good condition following the work done. The aim was for us to keep it inflated but due to the need for this to be done using CO2 this meant it was difficult to maintain. However, an appropriate pump and timer mechanism was found which means we can keep it inflated.
The museum had nowhere to display the dinghy so one of the rooms, formerly used as a display space in the WW2 Ration Stores, was completely renovated by work experience students of the The Priory Academy Federation in Lincoln. A bespoke cabinet was designed and built by the museum’s dedicated volunteers before the centre reopened to the public in June 2021.
There is still some work to do with ideas for background images of the crew in the rescue dinghy cabinet but after a long time coming visitors can now see the dinghy on display. Children who visit for the education programme can also now more easily appreciate the perils those crewmen experienced when they had to ditch in the sea.
Image credit: Newly conserved dinghy on display at Metheringham Airfield Visitor Centre