The Witham Group helps restore Lancaster bomber 05 May
The eagerly awaited restoration of Lincolnshire's Avro Lancaster bomber came to a halt at the start of April after the team ran out of paint. The paint job was meant to be completed by the end of April, but supply issues meant that the team were looking at a disappointing three week delay. However, local Lincolnshire company Witham Oil and Paint Ltd heard about the problem via local media and came to the rescue, donating eight different types of specialist paint, and pulled out all the stops to manufacture and deliver it in just two days.
Witham Group MD, Nigel R Bottom, said: "We are so very pleased to help support such a worthy cause. When we heard that Just Jane required help from a paint manufacturer our technical laboratory set to work on completing the order in record time. We are looking forward to seeing her restored to her former glory and it will be a proud day when she takes to the skies with our WOCO paint finish on the plane."
Just Jane will be painted in Witham's WOCO paint in eight different colours (including 'dark earth' and 'night black') - 40 years after the original camouflage paint job was applied.
The aircraft would become one of only three Lancaster bombers in the world to be flying if the restoration campaign is successful. The other airworthy Lancaster 'Thumper' is also based in Lincolnshire, and was used in the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight. The only other flying Lancaster in the world is Canada's Vera, which crossed the Atlantic to the UK in 2014 and flew with Thumper.
Just Jane's restoration manager, Andrew Panton, commented: "We're delighted that the restoration work can continue thanks to the Witham Group's quick turnaround on the new paint. Getting Just Jane back in the air is a life's dream, not just for me, but for all her fans too!"
The £3.5 million restoration depends on public donations and voluntary labour and the Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre still needs the public's help to fund the project. Visitors will be able to come and see Just Jane in her hangar once the paint has been applied.
The repainting started on Tuesday 18 April and will be completed by Sunday 23 April, after which time the hangar will reopen to visitors.