Nostalgia Monday JUNE 17 SPREAD - Use 9 pic 300 word template

Text for spread on Walney RAF show

AROUND 6,000 of people defied a downpour in 2003 to help celebrate the diamond jubilee of a Battle of Britain parade held at RAF Walney in 1943.

Two dozen veterans from the original parade were there to march again, or watch from the sidelines, after being inspected by Group Captain Bill Gambold.

The Mail, on Monday, September 22, noted: "The parade included the Air Training Corps, St Andrew's Pipe Band, Barrow Sea Cadets and the Walney detachment of the Army Cadet Force."

The organiser was Paul Rose, commanding officer for the 128 Barrow Squadron Air Training Corps.

He said: "It was a wet day in September 1943 too."

Mr Rose said it had been superb to be able to meet the RAF veterans at the event.

Barrow town centre manager Ann Taylforth said: "It was an absolute credit to the people of Barrow that so many came out and supported the event and what Paul Rose has tried to do at Walney airfield.

"It was also a tribute to the people who served at Walney during the Second World War."

Events on the day included a fly-past by a Hawk jet from 100 Squadron at RAF Leeming with the poor weather preventing the main air displays.

Even radio controlled planes were grounded as the rain and cloud made flying them too risky.

Des Tomlinson, then 77, of Nelson Street, Barrow, was in charge of rations for the 1,400 staff and German prisoners of war at the airfeld in 1945.

He said: "Working here was the best laugh I've ever had. I was my own boss. It was the best fun in the world."

Thomas Marsh, then 81, of Blake Street, Barrow, was an air freight fitter at RAF Walney.

He said: "I used to fly around here on tests if I'd put  a new wing on."

Barrow Mayor Des Barlow noted: "There's a lot of people who have put a lot of time and effort into today.

"Paul Rose should be commended.

"I know the veterans have appreciated it and residents of the borough."