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        100 years of Flying at Fairlop

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Despite a gloomy weather forecast of rain for the morning of 11th June 2011 the day stayed dry and crowds turned up for what was to be a momentous occasion. We were celebrating the 100th anniversary of flying at Fairlop and the 70th anniversary of Fairlop aerodrome becoming operational in 1941.

A crowd of over 500 people await the arrival of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight and Fly-past a few minutes before one o'clock.

RAF Battle of Britain Memorial Flight; consisting of a Lancaster bomber, supported by a Hurricane and a Spitfire provided by RAF Coningsby. Photo  David Martin

Two C130 aircraft provided by RAF Lyneham escorted by two King Air provided by RAF Cranwell.

Two Typhoons (centre) provided by RAF Leuchars and two Tornado GR4 provided by RAF Marham.

Two HS-125 provided by RAF Northolt.

Nine RAFAT Hawks provided by RAF Scampton (Red Arrows)

A nostalgic moment. People clapping, flag waving and some tears greeting the lone spitfire - an AB910 (Mk Vb) piloted by Lt Parkinson from Coningsby - which circled a few times over the crowd at 1310h to honour the centenary of flight at Fairlop and the personnel who made the supreme sacrifice during both world wars.

This magnificent photo of the lone spitfire was taken by David Martin.

David Martin

Among the supporters of the Fairlop Heritage Group event were Mike Gapes MP., Leader of the Council Cllr. Keith Prince and many other Councillors. Pictured here are Cllr. Harold Moth, Pearly Queen Peggy Oliver, Deputy Mayor's escort Mrs. Pat Ilett,  and Deputy Mayor of Redbridge Cllr. Felicity Banks.

Chairman of Fairlop Heritage Group, David Martin with Harold Bennett. (Sgt.) Harold Bennett displays an authentic model of his Spitfire. He was the first pilot to fly operational in 603 squadron from Fairlop Aerodrome in WW2. Now age ninety, he recalled being shot down in December 1941 and spending the rest of the war as a German prisoner.

 

Harold Bennett is helped to celebrate his 90th birthday with a cake supplied by Fairlop Waters Golf Club.

Photo David Martin

 

The entrance exhibition showing some moments in the last 100 years of history of Fairlop.

"Cross and Cockade International" display some  WW1 model aircraft. 

Visitors learn about the History of Fairlop including the Fairlop Oak tree and the annual Fairlop Fair which was held at Fairlop from 1725 - 1900 where visitors numbered between 100 - 200,000 mostly from the City and East End. Redbridge museum's panels show Redbridge people living through the war years.

Thanks are due to David and Barbara Martin for their hard work over several months and on the day and for having to transport Harold Bennett a couple of hundred mile round trips to his home. Thanks for all the contributors to the exhibitions and to Fairlop Waters for their hospitality. Sadly representatives of Barkingside 21 rushed off and at 4.38pm on the same day published a "scoop" about the mayoral car on their blog - two years late! This was followed by unnecessary comments towards myself and David Martin who thought something more important had been going on that day. There followed   two childish e-mails to David and cc'd to myself and Dominic Black. I no longer wish to be associated with such an organization whose officers conduct their members affairs in this way.

WE WILL REMEMBER THEM