Flypast celebrates anniversary of museum

PUBLISHED: 10:11 24 September 2001 | UPDATED: 10:34 03 March 2010

THE roar of a Lancaster bomber plane echoed across the Martlesham sky in memory of Britain's finest hour of the Second World War – the Battle of Britain.

THE roar of a Lancaster bomber plane echoed across the Martlesham sky in memory of Britain's finest hour of the Second World War – the Battle of Britain.

The fly over was also used to celebrate the first anniversary of the opening of the Martlesham Heath control tower museum, which acts as a lasting memorial to the major part that Martlesham airfield played in the world of aviation and during the Second World War.

Hundreds of people of all ages gathered on the heath to capture the flight of the great plane on film and in their memories.

A distant roar on the horizon was enough to hush the crowd and signal the arrival of the plane that was used to win the great battle of the skies against the German Luftwaffe.

The Lancaster flew low over the control tower before circling twice and flying three times over the crowd and then flying off across the country to mark the special Battle of Britain day elsewhere.

Celebrations for the museum's first birthday had been going on all day with around 400 people turning up.

As well as the fly past there were also several Second World War army vehicles and vintage cars on display, including a bomb disposal vehicle, jeeps and an old fire engine.

Andy Moore, a member of the Martlesham Heath Aviation Society, had his Willy's MB Jeep on display that he has been refurbishing over the last 20 years.

His car has been used in victory celebrations across Europe as well as being used in the TV series, Lovejoy.

The museum was also a popular attraction, full of memorabilia, photos, maps and pictures taking visitors on a journey through the life of the airfield starting from when it opened in 1917.

Martlesham Airfield was world renowned for its testing of planes, particularly those used during the Second World War.

Numbers of people wanting to get into the museum were so great that the queues were stretching all the way round the building.

Bob Dunnett, vice-chairman of the Martlesham Heath Aviation Society, said that the day had been fantastic.

He said: "I thought it (the fly past) was so emotional – I don't think there was anything else we could have done. We have had excellent support from the crowd.

"Our first year here has been brilliant and since we opened we have had 4,000 people visiting the museum."


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