Airfield Interpretation Board Opening Ceremony

On Sunday 18th September 2010 the last phase of the Newchurch History Project was complete when a ceremony was held in the Spinney to unveil and dedicate the Airfield Interpretation Board. The board tells of the short but important role Newchurch played as an Advanced Landing ground in 1943-44.

In particular, between June and September 1944, Three Squadrons, 3(F), 56 and 486NZ flying Hawker Tempest V's shot down 638 V1 Flying bombs. Read more here

More than 100 people attended to participate in a short ceremony conducted by the Rev Peter Snare, himself a civilian ex-pilot followed by the unveiling performed by John Kendall and Andy Bennison. John's father flew from Newchurch during this time with 3(F) Sqn and Andy Bennison represented Flt Lt John Harry "Jack" Stafford of 486 Sqn RAF who, while unable to travel from New Zealand, had written a memory of Newchurch which Andy read out.  Read it here

To set the scene, a recording of a Hawker Tempest  revving up and taking off was played; a sound not heard there for 66 years.

Andy Bennison (left) and John Kendall unveil the board

 

Left to right: Trevor Apps, Newchurch Parish Council Chairman; Andrew Cragg, Bryan Snead and Neale Waters, Parish Councillors; John Kendall, Peter Baxter, Rev Peter Snare, Andy Bennison

 

After the ceremony, a traditional village fete entitled "Battle of Britain Day" was held on the Village field. 1940's dress was encouraged. See more here.

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In the evening there was a Battle of Britain themed dance in the Village Hall featuring music from the 1940's……and beyond.

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On 17th June 2011, the £384.71 raised at this event were presented to  Ms Rosie Gibbons, Regional Fundraiser for the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund by Parish Council Chairman, Trevor Apps.

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