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The White Swan, Conningsby


My Great Grandfather, Byron Martin used to run The White Swan in Conningsby during the Second World War. Having just read 'The Dam Busters' by Paul Brickhill ( an excellent read I thought) with so many references to Conningsby and Woodhall Spa ( where my grandmother (his daughter) lived ) I'm really keen to find out more about this pub and what happened there. Sadly the pub is now boarded up but if anyone has any pictures or stories about the pub, my great grandad or the surrounding area that would be fantastic. Especially if he met any of the crew or if they went to his pub during their time based at Conningsby.

Many thanks


Re: The White Swan, Conningsby

In 1978 I ran a series of tests for the U.S. Air Force in the Hush House test facility at RAF Coningsby. I've been writing a history of my working life for my grandkids and was trying to remember the name "White Swan," which jumped out of my memory instantly upon looking at you posting.

As I recall, the bar at the White Swan had a lot of 617 Squadron memorabilia in the bar including a sizable pine tree that had returned in one of the Lancasters after a night practice flight.

If you receive any pictures I'd appreciate a copy. I may have a picture of the exterior but it's cluttered with parked cars etc.

Thank you,

Dick Reilly
St. Paul, Minnesota, USA

Re: Re: The White Swan, Conningsby

Hi, my name is Jock Hay and I served at Raf Coningsby on 29(F)Sqn at the time you were there, I do remember the Hush House being stripped out and the trials which were undertaken at that time.
In relation to your reference to the White Swan, which was the pub I used as my local, this was the first public house in Coningsby village that you would pass on your left as you left the base and arrived in the village. To my knowledge it has no historical link to 617 Sqn, but I strongly suspect that the bar you are referring to is the Lancaster Lounge which is situated within the Petwood Hotel just a few miles away from Coningsby in Woodhall Spa; this hotel was used as the 617 Sqn Officers Mess during WW2. I think you will find the information and photographs you are looking for at this site
I hope this information is of use to you. Good luck with your writing.