Lincolnshire

Fred Panton, Lincolnshire bomber museum founder, dies

Fred Panton
Image caption Fred Panton had said he hoped to see his Lancaster fly by the end of 2013

The co-founder of one of Lincolnshire's leading museums has died.

Fred Panton, along with his brother Harold, set up the East Kirkby Aviation Heritage Centre as a tribute to their brother who was killed World War II.

His family said Fred, 82, passed away suddenly on Sunday and had been working up until the end of his life.

The centre has been trying to restore its Lancaster bomber to airworthy condition to make it one of only three still capable of flying.

Fred and Harold spent more than 25 years establishing the centre near Spilsby as a living memorial to their brother Chris who was killed on a bombing raid.

Just Jane, the Lancaster which forms its centrepiece, was bought after it was spotted for sale in a newspaper.

A renewed appeal to get it flying was launched last year and during last month's commemorations for the Dambusters raid, Fred had said he hoped to see Just Jane in the air by the end of the year.

In a statement his family said: "Very few people have shown the drive and determination in life that Fred has to achieve his aims in creating a memorial to his brother, Chris, and remembering Bomber Command.

"As a family we are incredibly proud of what he has done and we will make it our lives work to continue his."

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