What's in a name? Teesside Airport is returning to its beginnings.

1939: Work begins on the most northerly of all Bomber Command airfields on flat farmland next to the Stockton & Darlington Railway. Locals nickname it RAF Goosepool, after a nearby farm, but as the house of Middleton St George Farm stands derelict beside the runway, it gets a different official name

1941, January: The airfield opens, and the first Whitley bombers of the RAF’s 78 Squadron arrive in April

1942, October: The Royal Canadian Air Force arrives, and remains throughout the war, creating heroes of VC winner Andrew Mynarski and William McMullen

1945, June 2: The last raid is flown before the Canadians go home. Since 1941, 279 bombers have been lost, and 1,255 aircrew have been killed. A further 325 groundcrew have also died during the war, taking total casualties to 1,580. The airport becomes an RAF navigation and flying training school, with 608 (North Riding) Auxiliary Squadron also based there

1957: Runway extended to 7,516ft, or 1.42 miles (Newcastle’s runway is 7,614ft long)

1964, April 18: The day after the RAF leaves MSG having sold it to the district and county councils of the area for £314,000, the first civilian flight – Mercury Airlines to Manchester – takes off from the renamed Tees-side Airport (the hyphen hangs around in the middle of the name for many years; the word “international” is soon added, although for a brief period, the word “world” also appears in the middle underneath a picture of a globe)

1966, July: The councils spend £200,000 turning the officers’ mess into the St George Hotel, which is rushed into use so that the North Korean football team, playing their World Cup games at Ayresome Park, can stay there

1966, November 1: The councils spend £195,000 re-equipping the airport and a further £412,000 building the passenger terminal, which Princess Margarethe of Sweden opens. It is designed to handle 350,000 passengers a year at a rate of 375-an-hour

1969, November: After a long campaign led by The Northern Echo, a scheduled service to Heathrow by British Midland begins – originally, the aviation authorities wanted the route to go to an airport named “London Luton”. The Heathrow service lasts until 2009

2002: Peel Airports takes a 75 per cent stake in the airport, pledging to invest £20m

2004, September 21: The name is changed to Durham Tees Valley Airport

2006: The airport’s best year ever, with 917,963 passengers

2010: With the financial crash reducing the numbers using the airport to 224,673, Peel is temporarily taken over by Vancouver Airports which introduces a £6 passenger levy and puts the airport up for sale

2017: The airport, now 89 per cent owned by Peel, has its worst year, with 130,911 passengers

2018, December 4: Tees Valley mayor Ben Houchen announces a £40m deal to buy out Peel. Because the airport has never been fully developed over the decades, he has taken into public hands what is possibly the most original surviving Second World War airfield in the country. It is said – and we would love to know if there is any truth in this – that on the south side where the bombers used to stand, there are still roses bushes planted and tended by the aircrew. It is also said that there are unusual Alpine plants growing there. Apparently the aircraft collected the seeds, which may have been thrown into the atmosphere by their exploding bombs, on their missions, and when they were hosed down after touchdown, the seeds were washed out.