Bomber Command Memorial Wall Engraving Under Way

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After the Bomber Command Memorial Spire on Canwick Hill was erected in May, the second stage of the memorial has been progressing well.

The next step in the construction process involves the making of 120 steel plates, each containing hundreds of names of the people who lost their lives serving Bomber Command. In total there are 25,611 names that need to be engraved.

I was lucky to be invited to visit Micrometric, a specialist engineering facility in Lincoln, and meet Andrew Parker, who has been involved with the project for around a year, to see just one of these plates being engraved. I learned however, the engraving is just one stage of many each plate has to go through.

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The laser carefully engraves hundreds of names onto each of the steel plates

Firstly, the laser must be programmed to engrave on the plate each and every name that will appear on it, then when it is loaded onto the machine (which takes 1-2 hours) the 4mm CorTen plate (the same type of steel the Spire was constructed out of) is placed on the laser bed.

The laser then begins engraving the names, which takes around 6 hours and must be monitored throughout the process, constantly moving around the plate engraving different parts to make sure the heat isn’t concentrated at one spot. Once the engraving is done, it is then taken out the machine for its first inspection.

The second inspection is done once the plates have been shot blasted by specialists RP Coatings to remove the scale and enhance the weathering process, the CorTen steel will, after a period of time outside, change to a rusted appearance.

Following the shot blasting, it is sent away to another local company, Hindles of Lincoln, to be curved to the exact measurement where it undergoes a third and final inspection before being collected by the main contractor, Lindum Construction, for fixing on site around main Memorial Spire.

To help identify which plate is which, each is of them are numbered and I was fortunate enough to see plate number 90 being cut and engraved and seeing all the people’s names appear of the piece of steel.

Andrew and explained to me that Micrometric has never undergone a project as big as this but are very proud to be involved.

As the last few plates are being engraved, each one taking hours upon hours, I truly felt the scale of how many people died serving Bomber Command, and with these plates, they will be remembered.


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