Have you heard of the Dam Busters? Seen the film (cue very bad english accents)? You must be humming the music by now….? well it is the 70th anniversary of the famous Second World War RAF Dam Busters’ raid today, and to commemorate this there was a flyover over the Derwent and Ladybower dams, Now I am no expert but this included an old Lancaster Bomber and some small planes, possibly Spitfires??
The Derwent and Ladybower Dam”s hold great significance, as the actual real brave Dam Busters practised their bouncing bomb e here! See……The 617 Squadron was founded as part of Operation Chastise which was a Second World War raid on Germany’s Ruhr dams using Barnes Wallis’ revolutionary bouncing bomb and modified Lancaster bombers. Crews trained for the operation at British reservoirs including the Derwent Dam. The German dams which help provide vital water and electrical supplies were targeted on the night of May 16, 1943, with two dams being successfully destroyed…..Beautifully displayed in The DamBusters film ( I belive it is quite accurate but I am no historian). There is a serious element too, 8 of the 18 planes who set off for that mission didn’t come home that night, 53 dies and 2 were taken prisoner of war. Very very sad.
Me and my little (nearly) four-year old walked to the top of Derwent Ridge to see the display today. For those who have never visited the Peak District, this involved a serious hike up a huge rocky peak to reach the ridge. It is the first time I have taken him to the peaks, even though we only live 20 mins away as it is not baby/toddler friendly, think steeeeep hills, rocks, stiles, loose rocky paths etc, so it was a lovely surprise when we actually made it to the top without any complaints/200 ft falls/disappearing down a mine shaft etc etc. I think this was helped in part by his obsession with poo/beetles/mud/puddles, all in plentiful abundance.
Here are a few photos…
The stunning view we had looking out over the Derwent Reservoir, there is a dam situated at either end but too far for little legs to walk to.
Can you spot the well camouflaged Lancaster Bomber?? She glided gracefully through the air below us.
The small planes, are they spitfires??? They were very fast!
Using the rocks as stepping-stones and looking for creatures in the heather was great fun too!
All in all a lovely day. I am very proud that we made it to the top, all the people who walked past us (we were slow but steady!) commented that he was doing really well getting as it is quite a mountain to get up! and we made it down safely too, with a little bribery of sweets to get us right back to the car. I think I may watch the DamBusters film tonight, did I mention they filmed some of it at Derwent Dam??? Go on, treat yourself to an old war film!