Certificate of Appreciation

Written on . Posted in Emergencies, North Weald Airfield, Our attractions, Out and about

Bruce Meadows

How would you react in an emergency? Bruce Meadows acted with the greatest presence of mind and bravery. Bruce was travelling in a car with his friend John around the perimeter track at North Weald Airfield on 9 May last year. They may have been aware of a light aeroplane making an approach to land but they would not have thought more of it than the many other routine landings taking place without incident every day.

Bruce Meadows accepts his certificate of appreciation from chairman Anne Grigg

Unfortunately for the pilot of the plane, his approach was suddenly to become anything but routine. Just a few feet from the ground the plane veered off course. As it lost height it performed a full 180 degree turn taking it away from the runway. Moments later it crashed into the back of Bruce and John`s car.

Amazingly, Bruce and John were unharmed. The injured pilot was not so lucky, being trapped in the wreckage of his plane as fire took hold. Few people can say what it is like to be hit by an aeroplane but it seems not to have affected the senses of Bruce and John. Within seconds they were out of the car and pulling the pilot to safety. Moments later the plane was engulfed in flames. Neither Bruce nor John have sought any recognition for their heroic efforts. Indeed both were very reluctant to make their identities known or talk to the media about their actions. However, with some persuasion we are delighted to say that Bruce has agreed to attend the awards for the presentation of a special Certificate of Appreciation.

Staff of Cunningham House

For the staff of Cunningham House, an Abbeyfield home in North Weald, nothing is more important than the care of their elderly residents. The quality of their care is so great that Cunningham House was recently voted the best care home in the South East of England. Cunningham House is home to 29 elderly, frail people in one unit and 25 people living with dementia in a second.

Helena Little and Rosemary Moor accept a certificate of appreciation from chairman Anne Grigg

However, it was not just for their excellent care services that the Cunningham House team won their award. Special gardens themed on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and Brighton promenade offer a completely different dimension. These projects transport the residents of Cunningham House in mind and memory to a time they can relate to, encouraging self-expression, fun and laughter.

Manager Rosemary Moor explains the inspiration behind the promenade: Because so many remember happy days by the sea, we decided to develop a beach style garden area that offers stimulation of the mind and body and evokes memories from the past , thus improving quality of life. It will increase sociability and will encourage physical activity and residents to spend time in the fresh air.

As people enter the most vulnerable stage in their lives, there can be no greater comfort than the reassurance offered in the care demonstrated by the Abbeyfield Society at Cunningham House. Helena Little and Rosemary Moor received a special Certificate of Appreciation on behalf of all the staff at Cunningham House.

Airfield Staff Race for Air Ambulance

Written on . Posted in North Weald Airfield, Our attractions, Out and about

A team of 5 Epping Forest District Council employees are hoping to raise over £1,000 for the Essex Air Ambulance by running the Brentwood Half Marathon. The team, all of whom are based at North Weald Airfield, will be competing along with thousands of other runners on Sunday 20 March 2011.

Team North Weald with the Herts and Essex Air Ambulance and its crew

Darren Goodey, North Weald Airfield manager said ” We’re all very excited to be taking part in this race we feel privileged to be running for such a worthy cause. Essex Air Ambulance costs £250,000 a month to run, funded by generous donations from the public. One day, you or a loved one may need their help so please keep this fantastic service running by donating online at www.justgiving.com/NorthWealdAirfieldTeam.

For more information visit the Essex Air Ambulance website.

Chairman shows the Spirit of North Weald

Written on . Posted in Chairman, Community, Democracy, North Weald Airfield, Our attractions, Out and about, Residents, Your area, Your community, Your council

The Spirit of North Weald was the theme behind a tour and reception given to mayors and chairmen from local Councils at North Weald Airfield on a rainy September day. Epping Forest District Council Chairman Mrs Anne Grigg proudly showed her guests around the famous historic airfield before hosting a reception in the control tower of the busy and active airfield.

With 2010 being the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Britain, guests were captivated by the tour of the squadron and hangars with one of the highlights being shown a Hurricane from the second world war. Arthur Moreton, a local historian who played a major part in protecting the cultural heritage of the Airfield, spoke of the airfield’s history and of its role as a key fighter base during the Battle of Britain.

Chairman Mrs Anne Grigg said: “North Weald Airfield is an integral part of this district’s history. It has become the hub of the local community with its wonderful air shows and community days. I am very honoured to represent North Weald and proud to share with my guests the great historic value of the airfield.”

North Weald Airfield Fun Day

Written on . Posted in Community, North Weald Airfield, Our attractions, Out and about, Residents, Your area, Your community

Local people remembered the sacrifice of the fallen and enjoyed a festival of aeroplanes at North Weald on Sunday 12 September 2010.

[tubepress video=”OAWa7vdfpEo”]

Local dignitaries, councillors and representatives of the armed forces held a moving tribute at St Andrews Church. Wreaths were laid and names of the fallen were read out as the last post was played. Veterans and families gazed skywards as a Seafire performed a flypast. Prayers were led by Rev Raynor Harries MBE.

Vintage and modern aircraft lined the tarmac at North Weald Airfield along with historic vehicles while re-enactment societies added additional colour. In the spirit of a community event pilots and members of the public mingled. Barriers were kept to a minimum as people touched the aeroplanes. The airfields venerable Catalina flying boat was even open for those adventurous enough to climb the access ladder.

Bouncy castles, merry-go-rounds and stalls added to the festival feel while demonstrations of samurai skills, dog obedience and children’s shows featured in the central arena.

The aircraft displays were not only static. Aerobatics and flypasts vied for peoples attention on a memorable day.

The event was organised jointly by Epping Forest District Council which owns the airfield and Weald Aviation.

Battle of Britain 70th Anniversary Fun Day

Written on . Posted in Community, North Weald Airfield, Our attractions, Out and about, Residents, Your area, Your community

This year is the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Britain, and North Weald Airfield is commemorating this historic event, and the airfield’s part in it, with a special Fun Day organised by Weald Aviation in association with Epping Forest District Council on Sunday 12 September 2010.

We are expecting up to 30 aircraft on static display including Hawker Hurricanes, the Kent Spitfire, Seafire, RNHF Seahawk and visitors from the Air Atlantique Historic Flight. A selection of military vehicles will also be on view with British and German re-enactors.

North Weald Airfield Community Fun Day leaflet (pdf 4.7 MB)

North Weald Airfield Battle of Britain Day

There will also be community stalls and displays including the North Weald Airfield Museum. It promises to be a great day out for the whole family! Youngsters will be well catered for with rides, a bouncy castle, face painting and their very own entertainer “ Mr Tickles!

    Admission and times:

  • Gates open at 10am and the airfield closes at 7pm
  • Between 10am to 12 noon admission is £10 per person
  • From 12 noon admission will be £5 person
  • Over 65s and under 12s can get in for free
  • The Fun Day runs from 12 noon to 4:30pm

There will be a free shuttle bus service for pedestrians from the North Weald Airfield Museum in Hurricane Way, CM16 6AA. The Fun day is supporting the RAFA 2010 Battle of Britain Wings Appeal and the Herts and Essex Air Ambulances.

Flypast at North Weald Airfield

Written on . Posted in Community, North Weald Airfield, Our attractions, Out and about, Residents, Your area, Your community

To mark the 70th anniversary of Sir Winston Churchills famous speech regarding the “few”, commemorative flypasts of the Hurricane and Spitfire recently took place and North Weald Airfield was used as the staging post.

Two Hurricanes and two Spitfires announced their arrival at the Airfield with a fantastic flypast. They were given hangarage at the Squadron and then took off from North Weald to start their flypasts of the Cabinet War Rooms in the City and the BOB RAF stations.

Below are a selection of photographs taken by Trevor Jago:

Two Hurricanes and two Spitfires in formation

A Hurricane prepares to take off

A Spitfire being given a little TLC

A Hurricane landing

Power cut in North Weald

Written on . Posted in Emergencies, North Weald Airfield, Our attractions, Out and about

An electric light

Flying suspended at North Weald Airfield

Some homes and businesses in North Weald are without electricity after a developer cut a power cable earlier today.

The developer, Crest Nicolson was carrying out excavation work this afternoon when they damaged the high voltage cable that serves the airfield. The incident appears to have also tripped out the power supply to some nearby residential properties supplied by EDF. Epping Forest District Council has arranged for a specialist contractor to attend and repair the cable as quickly as possible. EDF will then need to test and reset its systems before the power supply can be fully restored. The supply is not expected to be reconnected until late this evening.

“Norway House and other local properties still have power but we understand a small number of people have reported problems.” said Derek Macnab, Deputy Chief Executive of Epping Forest District Council. He continued: “The cable supplies business tenants on our airfield. Although not on the same cable, we understand that some residential properties may also have lost their supply after the automatic safety systems tripped out the power at the local sub-station. Repairs to high voltage cables require very special skills and we have stepped in to bring a specialist contractor down from Felixstowe. They should be able to make the physical repairs fairly quickly and EDF will then need to restore the supply. At the moment EDF are telling us that may not be until 10pm this evening.”

    You can find out more information:

  • on the EDF Energy website
  • or telephone EDF Energy on 0800 783 8838

North Weald Airfield Incident

Written on . Posted in Community, North Weald Airfield, Our attractions, Out and about, Residents, Travel, Your area, Your community

The pilot of a light aircraft was taken to hospital after an incident at North Weald Airfield on Sunday 9 May 2010. The AT-3 twin seat aeroplane collided with a car on the perimeter track near The Squadron flying club just before 2.30pm. The occupants of the car helped the pilot from the plane before volunteers of North Weald Fire and Rescue Services arrived on the scene to put out a fire. Emergency Services were called by airfield operations staff within moments of the accident and arrived within a few minutes.

Wreckage from the crash

The occupants of the car sustained no major injuries. Both the car and plane were badly damaged but it is believed that no life-threatening injuries were sustained by the pilot in the accident.

The Air Accident Investigation Branch (AAIB) of the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) will carry out an investigation into the cause of the accident and have given permission for the aircraft to be moved from the scene of the incident. They are expected to visit the scene as part of the investigation in the next few days.

North Weald Airfield is owned by Epping Forest District Council. A range of light and vintage aircraft is operated by various aviation businesses and flying clubs.

The damaged aircraft and car

Councillor Chris Whitbread, Deputy Leader of Epping Forest District Council said: I would like to wish the pilot well. I would also like to thank the Council staff, the volunteers of North Weald Fire and Rescue Services and the regular emergency services. Most of all, I would like to congratulate the two occupants of the car involved who acted with great presence of mind and courage in dramatic circumstances.

Councillor Whitbread added: We will have to wait for the AAIB to establish the cause and we will then take a look at our own procedures to see if there is anything we can learn. Right now it does appear that the airfield coped very well with the accident.

Crowds Flock to North Weald Fly-in

Written on . Posted in Chairman, Community, North Weald Airfield, Our attractions, Residents, Volunteering opportunities, Your community, Your council

Chairman Penny Smith and Councillor Cyril Hawkins greeting the veterans

Thousands of people headed for North Weald, home of the famous Battle of Britain airfield owned by Epping Forest District Council on Sunday 13 September 2009.

Three days of events and celebrations commenced on Friday 11 September 2009 when veterans of the Royal Norwegian Air Force flew back to the Airfield.

Back in 1942, the flight approach to North Weald would be very familiar to the veterans as they guided their Spitfires home. For this approach, the Royal Norwegian Air Force provided a Fan Jet Falcon Executive Jet, escorted by two of the most modern and formidable F16 Jet Fighters.

Accompanying the veterans on their fight from the Norwegian City of Bodo were senior serving officers of the NoRAF and the civic leaders including City Mayor Odd Tore Fygle.

Pictured above: Chairman Penny Smith and Councillor Cyril Hawkins greeting the veterans

F16 landing with parachute deployed

Pictured above: F16 landing with parachute deployed

 

The veterans were met on the tarmac outside The Squadron by members of the RAF Association, Councillor Cyril Hawkins of North Weald Parish Council and Councillor Penny Smith, Chairman of Epping Forest District Council.

Chairman Penny Smith welcomes the pilots

Pictured above: Chairman Penny Smith welcomes the pilots

Councillor Mrs Smith, welcomed the delegation to Epping Forest District Council`s Civic Offices on Saturday morning. She presented a glass globe of the world to the City Mayor as a token of the friendship between the two communities. Later, District Council Vice-Chairman, Councillor Anne Grigg welcomed the veterans to Norway House, today, the Council`s homeless persons` hostel but 70 years ago the North Weald Officers` Mess. Lunch was served at Hill Hall were many servicemen were billeted during the War.

The special links between Epping Forest and Norway culminated in a Fly-In and Community Day on Sunday. Visitors, young and old enjoyed the spectacle as Vampires, Spitfires and Hurricanes invoked memories of the airfield in its heyday from the 1940s and 1950s.

Representatives from Bodo in front of the Royal Norwegian Air Force F-16

Pictured above: Representatives from Bodo in front of the Royal Norwegian Air Force F16

Stars of the Fly-in were the two Royal Norwegian Air Force F16 Jet Fighters as well as North Weald Airfields own historic aircraft including the only flying `Hurribomber` and the Hurricane and Spitfire of the RAF Memorial Flight. North Weald’s own Vampire, a Fighter Jet of the type flown by the RAF at North Weald in the 1950`s was joined by another owned by Norwegian pilot Kenneth Aarkvisla. Kenneth`s wife, Mette, was one of the number of ladies dressed in Norwegian national costume.

Mayor Odd Tore Fygle, was one of a number of people to try out the seat of an RAF Tucano, the aircraft used to train modern RAF fighter pilots.

Mayor Odd Tore Fygle was one of a number of people to try out the seat of an RAF Tucano

Pictured above: Mayor Odd Tore Fygle was one of a number of people to try out the seat of an RAF Tucano

Many other guest aircraft flown into North Weald for the weekend were displayed along-side the airfields own resident collections. Static displays included two older RAF jet trainers, the Gnat of Red Arrow fame and the Jet Provost. Migs and Mustangs took to the sky during the afternoon.

As crowds enjoyed the displays of aircraft, community stalls and exhibitions, wreaths were laid in commemoration of the 36 Norwegian pilots who fell in conflict at North Weald. Brigadier Per Egil Rygg of the RNoRAF, reminded all present of the continuing sacrifice of the armed forces of Norway and Great Britain. Later, a short `Bond of Friendship ceremony took place to reaffirm the special links between the people of North Weald, Epping Forest and Norway.

Bond of Friendship ceremony

Pictured above: Bond of Friendship ceremony

Families Revel in Community Day Activities

Other attractions at the Spirit of North Weald Fly-In and Community Day were vintage cars, the model flying club, WW II re-enactment groups, fairground rides and bouncy castles, and council and community stalls. Essex Police, Essex Fire and Rescue Service and the Herts Air Ambulance helicopter also welcomed families to special stands. There was also a chance for people to have a go at archery with Epping Archers.

Councillor Penny Smith said afterwards. It was a thoroughly enjoyable three days. The veterans are an inspiration. I was very proud of the associations our communities have maintained over the years and the roles of North Weald Parish Council and Epping Forest District Council in keeping those links going. Those were young men back in the early 1940`s. They arrived in this country and found a new home. In return, they fought for us and many of their friends and comrades made the ultimate sacrifice. North Weald stands as a potent symbol of the best in human nature.

F16 ready for take off

Pictured above: F16 ready for take off

Norwegian Royal Air Force F16

Pictured above: Norwegian Royal Air Force F16

 

North Weald Fly-in: Veterans and Presentations

Written on . Posted in Chairman, Community, North Weald Airfield, Our attractions, Residents, Your community, Your council

Photographs of the veterans and presentations for the veterans of the Royal Norwegian Air Force over the weekend of the Spirit of North Weald Fly-in and Community Day on Sunday 13 September 2009.

Friday 11 September 2009

Arthur Moreton greets Lieutenant General Mohr as he steps off the Falcon Jet

Pictured above: Arthur Moreton greets Lieutenant General Mohr as he steps off the Falcon Jet

Norwegian veterans were met on the tarmac

Pictured above: Norwegian veterans were met on the tarmac

Chairman Penny Smith greeting an F16 pilot

Pictured above: Chairman Penny Smith greeting an F16 pilot

Veterans greeted at the Squadron

Pictured above: Veterans greeted at the Squadron

Flag bearers from the Royal British Legion enjoying the day

Pictured above: Flag bearers from the Royal British Legion enjoying the day

Saturday 12 September 2009

Chairman Penny Smith greeting guests outside the civic offices

Pictured above: Chairman Penny Smith greeting guests outside the civic offices

Visitors outside the Civic Offices in Epping

Pictured above: Visitors outside the Civic Offices in Epping