Exhibition held in honour of Ford Airfields 100 years of service

Harvard Plane
Harvard Plane

A History Group brought nineteen organisations and associations together in the Yapton & Ford Village Hall.

The event was held on June 9 for their exhibition to commemorate the centenary of Ford Airfield.

Tangmere Museum display

Tangmere Museum display

The proceedings were opened with a hand-operated, Cold War air raid siren based on the design of the type used in the WW2.

This was the signal for a constant stream of visitors to come and view the various displays on show and talk to the exhibitors.

In the hall the history group displays, with the aid of documents and photographs, charted the history of the airfield from the days of the RFC to Ford Open Prison.

There were displays telling the stories of the Ford Motor Company’s Tri-Motor, Yapton Aero Club and Sir Alan Cobham’s Flying Circus to name but a few.

Many of the displays covered the years of the war and up to its closure in 1959, when the airfield was home to the Fleet Air Arm and the RAF.

A programme of slide shows and talks were put together by Border Digital, including video clips supplied by Cobham PLC of Sir Alan Cobham.

The talks were given by Commander John Ford dressed in his flying kit, who served in the Fleet Air Arm at Ford during the 1950’s

Local museums and aviation groups were well represented with AirACES, Tangmere, Littlehampton and Wings (Balcombe), along with the Association of Wrens, RAFA (Bognor) and the British Legion (Arundel).

Aldingbourne Modellers brought along a fine display of model aircraft of the type that were based at Ford.

The event was accompanied by a book mapping out the general history of the airfield.