Hundreds watch Spitfire roar over Barkingside
There were tears in the eyes of spectators on Saturday as they watched a Spitfire blast over Fairlop Waters for the first time in more than 60 years.
The special flypast helped mark 100 years of flying at the site off Forest Road, Barkingside, as well as 70 years since RAF Fairlop was operational.
More than 500 people crowded around the lake in Fairlop Waters to watched the Spitfire pass overhead three times as it helped recreate a scene many thought they would never see again.
Minutes earlier, crowds had watched as 21 aircraft travelled over Fairlop Waters as part of the Trooping of the Colour celebrations.
The Spitfire flypast was arranged by Fairlop Heritage Group chairman David Martin.
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He said: “The Spitfire gave a very personal display making three passes. He went as low as he could go.
“It was absolutely brilliant.
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“Some people were crying and clapping. It was really spectacular.”
Exhibitions on the history of Fairlop Waters were on display during the event and Harold Bennett, who was the first man to fly from RAF Station Fairlop on November 17, 1941, was presented with a birthday cake courtesy of Fairlop Golf Club ahead of his 90th birthday next month.
The exact site of the April 1911 test flight of the Handley Page Type E Monoplane is unknown, but it is thought it was near Hog Hill.
The aeroplane is historically significant as it was the first successful design by Frederick Handley Page.
During the First World War there were two aerodromes at Fairlop.
Fairlop aerodrome was a Royal Naval Air Station training school, while Hainault Farm was used by the Royal Flying Corps.
In the Second World War, the RAF station at Fairlop had capacity for more than 1,000 personnel