Benfleet

201806 - Stow Maries Aerodrome

Monday 25 June 2018: Stow Maries Great War Aerodrome

The aerodrome was created in 1916 operating as the Royal Flying Corp, which was part of the UK Army defences particularly against Zeppelin raids along the East Coast. The RAF was formed in 1918 as a separate entity to the army. Stow Maries was featured in news reports as the RAF became 100 years old this year.

The aerodrome is significant as the only remaining operational airfield from the First World War - the largest surviving from WW1 in Europe. However, the number of flights of light aircraft is limited, so flying days are not that often.

Some 19 original buildings are still in place, some restored, some still needing attention. However, it is a strong reminder of the dedication and bravery of the pilots and operations that protected our region.

The aircraft present include British, French and German planes - most of them replicas. Many have been featured in well known films such as The Blue Max, The Great Waldo Pepper, Indiana Jones and The Mummy.

There is also an extensive, but unfortunately not accessible on our visit, wildlife area featuring many rare and endangered species.

Our thanks to photographers Geoff Deighton, Tony Parr, Sue Lewsey, Pete Lewsey and Alan Aldridge.
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Click on a picture below to see it full-size with more details.