Barkingside country park chairman resigns over ‘lack of support’

The founder and chairman of a group aimed at preserving the war history of a vast plain has resigned because of a “lack of support” from committee members.

David Martin established the Fairlop Heritage Group (FHG) in April 2009 to keep the role played by Fairlop Waters Country Park in both world wars engrained in people’s memories.

But he said his decision to quit his role as chairman of the group came in the aftermath of a special Spitfire flypast over the plain off Forest Road, Barkingside in June to commemorate 100 years of flying at the site.

Speaking of the event Mr Martin said: “There was just no support.

“I wrote to members in April but I had no response.

“Members attended the event but there was no offer of help at all.”

He said more than 500 people visited the plain for the flypast, including members of Redbridge Council.

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The event also marked 70 years since RAF Fairlop was operational.

Mr Martin said of his chairmanship of the group: “You can probably argue that I was the only one keeping it going.

“We had a committee but no involvement. I’m at a loss to explain why that is.”

Fairlop Waters saw its first official Remembrance Day service at the site in 2009, repeated in 2010, and there is a push for a permanent memorial to be erected on the plain, which could possibly take the form of a model Spitfire.

Highlighting the success of June’s flypast, Mr Martin said: “The only person as an individual who got more people at Fairlop was Adolf Hiter during the war.

“That’s quite an achievement for the flypast.”

The group founder said he will continue to be a member of the group and stay actively involved in Fairlop Waters, which has benefited from a raft of improvements in the last 18 months.”

During the First World War there were two aerodromes at Fairlop, while in the Second World War the RAF station at Fairlop had capacity for more than 1,000 personnel.

It is understood no new chairman has been appointed by the about 30 members of the FHG.