And they’re off! Day one blog of the Dinghy Young cycle trip to Holland

Returning some of our Dambuster silhouettes to their home, here we talk you through the first day of an RAF cycling challenge we’ve helped to organise that sees seven members of the RAF cycle from the IBCC to Castricum aan Zee in Holland. The team will be taking the central silhouettes of our Men of the Dams installation – Dinghy Young and his crew – to the place where their bodies were recovered for a memorial ceremony to mark the anniversary of the raid.

Starting the day at the IBCC, the cyclists set off on their journey at around 8am, donning their specially made jerseys to each represent a member of Dinghy Young’s crew as they embark on this challenge.

The trip itself commemorates the seven members of Dinghy Young’s aircraft as they sacrificed their lives during the legendary Dambusters raid in 1943. Dinghy Young’s crew were the first to breach the Möhne Dam during the raid but were shot down on their return journey only 200 yards from safety.

A memorial now stands in Holland where their bodies were recovered and is the ultimate destination for this multi day cycling challenge.

After setting off from the IBCC, swift time was made as the cyclists journeyed through the Lincolnshire countryside stopping regularly to take in the sites as they go. The team took time to visit the home of the Dambusters – the Petwood Hotel – which was where 617 Squadron Officers spent their downtime in the months leading up to the night of the raid. Today, the Squadron Bar hosts a range of memorabilia and tributes which our cyclists took the time to admire.

As well as the Petwood Hotel, the cyclists also visited the 617 Squadron memorial at Woodhall Spa and Scampton Church where a stain glass window immortalises the Dambusters formation. A Typhoon flypast over the Humber Bridge marked the challenge and spurred the team on.

Recounting the day’s cycling, the cyclists were understandably tired, but in high spirits to carry on after they reach the continent the following day via overnight ferry.

Some photos from the day’s cycling below:

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