The Stockton & Thornaby Branch of the Royal Air Forces Association marked the RAF Centenary celebrations on the 1st April with the planting and dedication of a Royal Oak Tree and commemorative plaque alongside the Airmans Statue in Thornaby. The Mayor and Mayoress of Thornaby Cllrs Steve and Sylvia Walmsley and the Mayor and Mayoress of Stockton Cllr Maurice Perry and Mrs Laraine Perry were all in attendance as were representatives of local veterans organisations who also paraded their Standards and also members of the public. The Mayors were invited to plant the oak tree by Denis Grub, secretary of the RAFA branch, who also invited the guest of honour Group Captain Andy Cooksley, Officer Commanding Number 90 Signals Unit at RAF Leeming to unveil the plaque which was blessed by Father Harry Hopkins the recently retired vicar of St Paul’s Church in Thornaby and himself a former Royal Navy submariner.
It was good to see that Royal Air Force blue was very much on parade thanks to the cadets of Number 266 (Stockton) Squadron Air Training Corps who were led by Warrant Officer Shaun Stevenson and Flight Sergeant Steve Ringwood with Cadet Sergeant Cameron Murphy laying a wreath. Well done one and all!
Photographs and details courtesy of David Thompson.