WALNEY ISLAND AIR SHOW 2003
On the 20th September 2003 Walney airfield became the venue for celebrating the Diamond Jubilee of RAF Walney Island’s Battle of Britain Parade.
Prior to the event Mrs. Ann Taylforth, Barrow-in-Furness Town Centre Manager commented, “The Diamond Jubilee Celebrations will, I am sure, attract a lot of visitors to the area. I am sure everyone will find the displays fascinating and the air displays exciting and have an excellent day out. Many local people today, do not realise the role that RAF Walney Island played during World War II”.
Admission to the Event was free and limited car parking was made available on the airfield itself. Admission to the airfield was via Red Ley Lane, North Scale, Walney Island. Gates opening at 11am.
The official press release for the day relayed the following information: 128 Barrow Squadron Air Training Corps, with kind permission from BAE Systems Submarines, hosted a Family Fun Day and Diamond Jubilee Celebration at it’s Walney Airfield. It promised to be very popular and to feature Air Displays by the Royal Air Force, which included a Nimrod from 42R Squadron RAF Kinloss along with a Hawk from 100 Squadron, RAF Leeming.
Other attractions included static aircraft, flying displays by model aircraft, St. Andrews Pipe Band, BBC internet bus, classic and vintage vehicles, artillery equipment (guns), static displays, stalls, exhibitions, children’s entertainment, paintball range, inflatable/s, fun fair, beer tent and catering. Live broadcasts from the Event were also featured on BBC Radio Cumbria’s Joe Costain’s Saturday Show.
RAF Walney Island was home to No 10 Air Gunnery School during World War II. During 1943 a Station Parade was held to commemorate the Battle of Britain. The Battle of Britain Parade in 1943 comprised of Air Cadets from both Barrow and Ulverston. The parade also included men and women that were stationed at Barrow from the RAF and WAAF. This parade was recorded on film. (See below)
The celebrations also included a reconstruction that took place on the day at 12 noon, with music being provided by the St. Andrews Pipe Band and survivors from the original parade were invited to participate in the reconstruction of the 1943 Parade.
Lieutenant, Paul Rose, MBE. RAF VR, (T), Officer Commanding 128 Barrow Squadron,
Air Training Corps, commented “The Air Cadets motto is Venture Adventure and
the Aims of the Air Cadet Organisation are: 1) To promote and encourage among
young people a practical interest in aviation and the Royal Air Force. 2) To
provide training which will be useful in the Services and civilian life. 3) To
foster the spirit of adventure and develop qualities of leadership and good
Barrow Air Training Corps are proud to parade with veterans from the Second World War whose service gave us the freedoms we take for granted today. He also stated that he had been contacted by many veterans and former Air Cadets prior to the occasion, and also extended a warm welcome to anyone who served on the Airfield or with the Cadets in that era.
I would also like to add my own personal thanks to Flight Lieutenant, Paul Rose, MBE. RAF VR, (T), Officer Commanding 128 Barrow Squadron, Air Training Corps, without whose commitment and enthusiasm, this event would not have become anything more than a pipe-dream. Walney deserves and he delivered.
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