RFC Mural, Lincoln

A programme of cleaning and conservation was carried out to stabilise and restore the Royal Flying Corps mural, a rare legacy from Lincoln’s early period of aviation heritage.

  • After conservation

    After conservation

  • Before conservation

    Before conservation

  • Conservators at work

    Conservators at work

  • Signature


The large RFC mural survives in the Grandstand of Lincoln’s West Common. In 1915 during World War I this area of land was a designated Aircraft Acceptance Park, and the Grandstand was used as offices. The mural is significant in marking this period of aviation heritage in the local area. It is signed by “2nd A. M HUNTER” (Air Mechanic 2nd Class, Hunter). 

Working alongside students studying the MA Conservation of Cultural Heritage programme at the University of Lincoln, we were requested to carry out a programme of cleaning and restoration to the mural to coincide with the centenary year of the establishment of the RAF.

Despite surviving quite well over the intervening years, the mural suffered from past unsympathetic restoration and darkened varnish, detracting from its original appearance. We addressed this by:

·      Carefully removing the darkened varnish from the surface using suitable solvents.

·      Removing later disfiguring attempts at repair 

·      Filling areas of cracked plaster 

·      Applying a coating of isolating varnish 

·      Reintegrating areas of paint loss 

Finally, the mural was coated in a matt varnish with ultra-violet inhibitor to even out the surface finish and provide a protective coating.