Hemswell Cliff village was originally part of RAF Hemswell. The airbase was used in the 1954 film, Dambusters substituting for RAF Scampton in the ground-based filming. It's most famous resident was Sir Guy Gibson - leader of the Dambuster raid.
Hemswell was decommissioned as a military base in 1967 and the former married quarters now make up the civil parish of Hemswell Cliff. Our school is built on the site of the old RAF primary school and we still have good links with the RAF Hemswell Association.
Every year as part of their Reunion Day, members of the Association visit us for our RAF Hemswell Day Concert and Book Awards ceremony. Jeffery Goodwin, Honary Secretary of the RAF Hemswell Association describes how links were first established:
"In 1995 we unveiled the new memorial and I visited the School before the event to invite them to be present at the unveiling. This was enthusiastically accepted by the then Head Teacher and the Governors and ever since, the children have played an important role in the annual commemorative service. The following year I set up a fund to provide the children with book awards each year and this was adopted by our Association as an ongoing commitment. Our veterans do enjoy the visit to the School in the afternoon when the children entertain us with a concert each year."
The following is taken from a RAF Hemswell Association report to its members on a previous Reunion Day:
Next followed the always delightful procession of the Hemswell Cliff School children who each laid a flower in a line before the base of the memorial
Once more refreshed, most members proceeded to the next part of the programme being the visit to the Hemswell Cliff School. The school is built on the site of the former RAF School, and is a light and airy single storey building, with grassy play and sports areas around. Not a bit like my junior and infants school which was a terrifying edifice likened to Colditz Castle.
Next came the awards ceremony. The pile of books had been sorted into order and the nominated presenters were at the ready. The children had been briefed on how to march smartly up and shake hands, and everything went to plan with only a few minor glitches mostly involving the hand shaking technique."