Isle of Axholme history revealed in new exhibition

The remains of one of RAF Santoft's two crew locker and drying rooms on the technical site
The remains of one of RAF Santoft's two crew locker and drying rooms on the technical site

Volunteers in the Isle of Axholme with a passion for history have completed fieldwork unearthing the area's past and are now working on a public exhibition as part of the Lost Landscape of Heroes project.

All their findings from the Isle area will be on show at the project’s Discovery Day at St Andrew’s Church, Epworth, on March 29. Entry will be free and open to all.

Project volunteers suveying the former technical site, RAF Sandtoft

Project volunteers suveying the former technical site, RAF Sandtoft

In addition, there will be a number of related displays from groups and individuals across the Isle to help commemorate the area’s military history.

From late 2017, the Lost Landscape of Heroes project, part of the National Lottery Heritage Fund Isle of Axholme and Hatfield Chase Landscape Partnership, has been piecing together the history and varied military story of the Isle.

Findings are also being prepared ready for inclusion in the North Lincs Heritage Environment Records and elsewhere.

The project, was funded thanks to money raised by National Lottery players, awarded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Using aerial imagery, maps and door-to-door enquiries, the project staff and volunteers have investigated a number of sites of interest.

Project volunteer Dave Williams said: ‘Being part of a small team of volunteers, tasked with finding the “Lost Landscape of Heroes” in the Isle of Axholme, you realise that these concrete slabs in a muddy field represent the remains of a once important building that was part of RAF Sandtoft.  It is hard to get your head around the fact, that during the Second World War, there were thousands of air and ground-crew based at this now derelict site, all doing their bit to help win the war.”

Volunteer, Pat Smith, added: ‘Little did I know when I got involved with the “Lost Landscape of Heroes Project” that I would be tramping round farms and fields looking at old bits of concrete! Along with three or four other volunteers we have recorded some of the buildings still standing at RAF Sandtoft.” For more contact project manager Chris Percy (chriscp2@hallamec.plus.com) or Archaeology or heritage officer, Laura Smith-Higgins  at Laura.Higgins@northlincs.gov.uk.