Pensioner spends six years building full-size replica bomber cockpit in his garden

A full-size replica of a Lancaster bomber cockpit that was painstakingly made by a history buff is being sold at auction.

Norman Groom, 85, spent six years building the 6ft high by 15ft long section of the World War Two aircraft in his garage.

The pensioner travelled the country during the 1990s tracking down and acquiring all of the original equipment from aero jumble sales.

Every part of the cockpit, including a green leather pilot’s seat, was then carefully placed for faithful recreation.

At the rear, there is a radio station with an R1155 receiver and transmitter to communicate with other planes.

Norman, a retired electronics engineer, is confident that “every rivet is in the right place”.

Before embarking on the project, he was given out-of-hours access to the Imperial War Museum in London.

He was able to take close-up pictures of an original cockpit and draw up details plans for his project.

Norman amassed so many original parts for the cockpit he had to build an extension for his garage to store them.

It took six years to craft three basic sections of the plane, which Norman did in his spare time.

They were then transported to the Pitstone Green Museum in Leighton Buzzard, Beds, in 1996.

“Looking back, I don’t know how I did it when I was so busy with other things, but I am delighted that I achieved my aim,” Norman said.

“I very much hope that a specialist military museum will be interested in displaying it for present and future generations.

“When it’s displayed I hope they explain the remarkable history that surrounds these planes.

The replica is going under the hammer at Flints Auctions in Newbury, Berkshire on Thursday and is expected to fetch £150,000.

Auctioneer Matt Nunn said: “It is a truly unique and amazing object to come up for sale.

“This is the closest that people can now come to owning one of these iconic planes.”