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Centenary Fly-past at Freshfield 2010


Reg Yorke September 2010



On Friday 14th May, a milestone in Merseyside’s aviatiBiplane at Freshfield 1910on history was marked by a celebratory fly-past over Formby Point by a group of vintage planes as part of a special ceremony held at RAF Woodvale .

The centenary event was organised by Formby Civic Society, National Trust, Southport Air Show, Sefton Council, Manchester Science and Industry Museum, RAF Woodvale and Southport Shore Interest Group to celebrate the 100th anniversary of pioneer pilot C. Compton Paterson’s first flight from Freshfield shore in his Curtiss biplane – making him the first man to take to the skies on Merseyside.


Seven vintage planes left RAF Woodvale and flew along the coastline to mark the occasion. They included a 1943 Harvard Mark III, a 1948 Piper Vagabond and a 1946 Piper J3 Cub.




The fly-past was witnessed by children from primary schools in Formby and Freshfield who took part in a kite-making competition organised by the National Trust.


Tony Corfield, head of tourism at Sefton Council, said: “We are very proud of our aviation links in Sefton and the organised fly-over marked the occasion in style. Early flights like the ones made by Compton Paterson in Freshfield helped set the tone for future developments in the aviation industry”.


Howard Carby, station commander at RAF Woodvale, added: “We enjoy our close links with the community and we were both proud and privileged to be a part of this celebration.”


The Centenary will again be celebrated at this year’s Southport Airshow in September.