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24th September 2014


There were emotional scenes at RAF Coningsby yesterday (Tuesday 23 September) as the much-anticipated Thwaites Lancaster Bomber Tour drew to a poignant close.


VeRA, the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum’s Avro Lancaster Bomber, who has been delighting audiences since her arrival on 8 August, bid the UK a fond farewell as she soared into the distance bound for permanent home in Ontario, Canada.


The 69-year-old aircraft, which flew an epic 3,700 mile journey over four days to reach English shores, has spent the last six weeks thrilling audiences and veterans alike from Bournemouth to Blackpool and Clacton to the Channel Islands.


VeRA was also reunited with the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight’s Lancaster Bomber, the world’s only other remaining airworthy plane of its kind, as the pair returned to the skies in an aviation partnership which is unlikely to be seen again.


The hugely successful Thwaites-sponsored event, is part of the brewer’s Give A Dam campaign which has seen Lancaster Bomber sales increase by over 30% in the On Trade and by 40% in grocers, with an estimated 200K people more enjoying the prize winning ale.

The fundraising activity seeks to support Leonard Cheshire Disability – a charity founded by former Bomber Command veteran, Group Captain Leonard Cheshire – through donations from sales.

Des Gallagher of Thwaites, brewers of Lancaster Bomber, said: “2014 will surely be remembered as the year that VeRA became the nation’s sweetheart – never before has an aircraft thrilled, delighted and elated so many people right across the country. It’s been an absolutely incredible six-weeks, a historical first that will cement our friendship with Canada for ever more and remind younger generations that their freedom came at a huge price.


“We have been respectfully remembering those men and women who fought for our freedom and we hope many will join us in raising a glass tonight, to bid a fond farewell to VeRA, but most of all, to remember those of Bomber Command who gave their lives in the name of liberty.


“Thwaites has been privileged to be a part of the Lancaster Bomber Tour and we’d like to say an enormous and heartfelt thank you to all those at the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum who have made the impossible, possible.”


Al Mickeloff, of Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum, said: “From the moment we touched down at RAF Coningsby, we have been simply overwhelmed at the outpouring of warmth and affection from the British people. The tour hasn’t been without its challenges, which one would expect from an aircraft of nearly 70 years old, but we have achieved what we set out to do – to let Britons see the world’s only two remaining Bombers unite for the last time, as a fitting tribute to those who have gone before. Our special relationship with Thwaites, the BBMF and the UK as a whole, is something that we will treasure for many years to come.”


Des added: “Our social media campaign was a stunning success, over 32 million impressions were generated across Twitter and Facebook and over 202,000 interactions handled. This is because we engaged with fans seven days a week, from first light until late into the night for the entire duration of the Tour. The images from VeRA spoke to our audience who had taken her to their hearts.”


Lancaster Bomber ale, which has twice been voted Best English Bitter at the European Beer Star Awards, is available to buy in selected stores across the UK including Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda, Morrisons, Waitrose, Booths and online retailer Ocado.



For further information please contact:

Aimi McNeill at Good Relations Regional: 01625 506429 / 07500 123909 or Claire Grew: 0113 237 2825


About Daniel Thwaites

Daniel Thwaites is the North of England’s major independent family brewer. Founded in 1807, Thwaites has a rich heritage providing welcoming hospitality and award-winning beers that are brewed with skill and care from the highest quality ingredients.

Thwaites owns an estate of over 300 pubs, a small but growing group of characterful coaching inns and six four-star full service regional hotels and spas, which trade under the Shire Hotels banner.

In addition, Thwaites supplies a full range of drinks to many independently owned pubs, clubs and restaurants in the North of England and beyond and a wide range of bottled beers to most major supermarkets.

For more information on Lancaster Bomber, please visit:



Website: www.lancasterbomberale


For more information about the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum, please visit