Page last updated at 09:21 GMT, Monday, 23 February 2009

Vulcan cash race hailed a success

Vulcan at Waddington
The Vulcan team say they are almost halfway to their target

A round Britain race to raise funds for a restored Cold War bomber has been a success, organisers have said.

Three members of the Vulcan to the Sky Trust held a "Scramble" to visit all 15 Vulcan aircraft in the UK, starting at Edinburgh and finishing at Southend.

The Leicestershire-based group is aiming to raise 1m in the next few weeks to keep their plane in the air after the recession hit sponsorship.

The Scramble raised more than 56,000, taking the main appeal to 400,000.

The trust, based at Bruntingthorpe, raised 7m over 15 years to restore the aircraft to flying condition and it first flew at the end of 2007.

We can't let this part of out heritage go away, we have to keep this aircraft flying
Kevin Stone, Vulcan to the Sky

But despite being seen by an estimated 1.5 million people last summer, the economic downturn has left the Vulcan facing an uncertain fate.

The Scramble team began at midnight on Saturday at East Fortune, near Edinburgh, and drove to locations including Norwich, Sunderland, Carlisle, Newark, Woodford near Manchester, RAF Cosford near Wolverhampton, Wellesbourne near Warwick and Duxford before finishing at Southend at 2340 GMT on Sunday.

Kevin Stone, from North Hykeham in Lincolnshire, was one of the Scramble team.

"We are exhausted but also relieved and excited to have completed the challenge and raised the profile of the appeal.

"The response was excellent because even when we arrived at two or three in the morning there was always dozens of people to see us."

He admitted the appeal still had a long way to go but felt they had no option but to carry on.

"The country, the people wherever we go love this aircraft so hopefully we will be able to manage this."

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