DURHAM Tees Valley Airport (DTVA) has made a £1,500 donation to help fund the upkeep of the Mynarski Memorial Lancaster that visited the region recently.

The Lancaster, named after Canadian Victoria Cross recipient Andrew Mynarski who flew from Middleton St George during the Second World War, attracted thousands of people when it landed at DTVA in August during its summer-long tour of the UK.

Proceeds from the airport’s Lancaster celebration day, minus the costs of staging the event, have now been donated to the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum in Ontario which houses the plane.

DTVA manager Shaun Woods, who led the organising of the Lancaster visit, said: “With our history as a wartime base for Royal Canadian Air Force flyers, many of whom gave their lives, the visit to Durham Tees Valley was, without doubt one of the most important—and emotional events during the Lancaster tour, for the aircraft’s crew and support team, for the many veterans who attended and for the thousands of people who were lucky enough to be there.

“We really had only a few weeks to prepare for such a massive event, but we were enormously grateful for the support we received from all those connected with the aircraft and the museum so I’m delighted that we are able to make this donation in recognition of their efforts to ensure that the Lancaster keeps flying as a reminder of the bravery of those whose sacrifices helped to defend the freedoms we all enjoy today.”

The Mynarski Lancaster stayed at DTVA for several days longer than expected after suffering engine trouble during a test flight after the August 28 celebration day.

The museum set up a running appeal to help pay for the unexpected costs of replacing an engine and after missing a weekend of scheduled appearances, the plane was back in the air.

It left the country on September 23 and arrived safely home to Canada five days later.