Spitfire to blast over Barkingside park for centenary event

A special Spitfire flypast over Fairlop Waters Country Park is set to celebrate 100 years of flying at the site.

It is hoped hundreds of people will gather to watch the aircraft blast over the skies in a scene last witnessed during the Second World War.

David Martin, chairman of Fairlop Heritage Group, has secured Saturday’s flypast.

It will also help to mark 70 years since RAF Fairlop, used during the Second World War, was operational.

Before the flypast, visitors to the country park off Forest Road, Barkingside, will get a chance to see aircraft including a Lancaster and a Hurricane as the Battle of Britain Memorial flight passes overhead on its way to the skies over Buckingham Palace.

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Veterans including Harold Bennett are due to watch the flypast on the day and chat to visitors about their war memories.

Mr Bennett, 89, was the first the first man to fly from RAF Station Fairlop on November 17, 1941.

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Less than a month later on December 8, Mr Bennett’s Spitfire was shot down as it flew over the English Channel, off Le Touquet, France.

He spent the rest of the Second World War as a prisoner of war.

Exhibitions on the history of Fairlop Waters will also be on display during the event, which runs from noon to 3pm.

Mr Martin said: “We’ve been very fortunate in getting this flypast.

“It will be a fantastic day and it will really help to mark the history of Fairlop.”

During the First World War, the plain was used as a training field.

Seven lives were lost at Fairlop during that conflict, with seventeen men who flew out of the RAF Station, or were in some other way connected with the base during World War Two, also losing their lives.

The Battle of Britain memorial flight will be circling from approximately 12.30pm and the Spitfire flypast is due over Fairlop at 1.05pm subject to weather and operational requirements.

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