The sun shone as record crowds enjoyed the best Funday yet at North Weald Airfield on Sunday 7 September.
Thousands of happy families and plane enthusiasts started arriving early in the day for the latest event organised by Weald Aviation and Epping Forest District Council.
The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Spitfire and Hurricane completed the first official air display at North Weald Airfield for 15 years (1999 being the last). Stalls, exhibitions, music, classic cars and a funfair for children kept everyone happy on the ground.
The Lord Lieutenant of Essex Lord Petre and the Chairman of Epping Forest District Council, Councillor Tony Boyce were joined by members of the Royal British Legion and veterans of Afghanistan to take the salute. The Epping Forest Pipe Band led the march past and the Last Post was played in remembrance of all who have lost their lives in defence of freedom.
Band of Brothers
2014 is the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings marking the start of the liberation of Europe in 1944. North Weald Airfield played a major role in the invasion as the starting point for Czech soldiers in the multi-national airborne force. 50 years later it reprised a similar role as the backdrop to Band Of Brothers, the landmark television series produced by Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg.
Visitors were able to see a special exhibition about the filming of scenes at the airfield with a real DC3 Dakota and many military vehicles forming the backdrop to a display of photographs taken from the film sets.
Fun of the fair
Fairground rides, slides and bouncy castles were free for children in the main arena. Classic cars including Ford Mustangs, MGs and Volkswagen Campers were on show. Many of the airfield’s classic cold-war jets including 2 Gnats made famous by the Red Arrows were on static display. The pride of North Weald’s Cold War jets Hawker Hunter Fox 1 formed up for a spectacular flying display with the ‘Norwegian’ Vampire.
District Council Chairman Tony Boyce congratulated everyone involved in the event. He said: “I want to say thank you to everyone at EMAS Weald Aviation, Epping Forest District Council, and the huge number of individuals and other organisations that made it such a fantastic day. It was a marvellous event and a true measure of the community spirit that makes our district such a great place.”
He continued: “I also want to pay a special tribute to the veterans, young and old, who joined us for the day. It was a real privilege for me and the Lord Lieutenant to stand and take the salute with them. In particular I want to say how much I enjoyed meeting RAF medics Kevin and Laura McClean and their young daughter. Both must have saved many lives while serving in Afghanistan on casualty evacuation duties. Kevin is still in the RAF while Laura now works in a local hospital. For me they epitomized all that is best about our great Country and I was proud to stand beside them.”
Profits from the North Weald Airfield Community Day will be donated to the Royal British Legion and the Herts Air-Ambulance.
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