AN 83-year-old RAF veteran is helping create a lasting legacy of a town's proud association with the Royal Air Force.

An interactive history trail and community book are being created to remember the major RAF base that once dominated Thornaby.

Thornaby airfield was used by the RAF during the Second World War to protect Teesside's vital industries from the Luftwaffe.

Ian Hindmarsh, 83, who is Stockton and Thornaby RAF Association chairman, is now appealing to the public to contribute memories and mementoes as part of Thornaby Shopping Pavilion's heritage day on Tuesday, August 18.

The airfield was based on where the Pavilion now stands and there will be various events on the day, including classes for youngsters for them to make their own model planes.

Mr Hindmarsh, of Kirklevington, near Yarm, returned to the North-East after serving in the RAF and was a journalist on local newspapers.

He said: “RAF Thornaby is still very much alive in people’s minds and there is a lot of pride surrounding the Thornaby airfield and the role of our armed forces that were based there.

“The Government bought 50 acres of the land there from Thornaby Hall in about 1920. It was farm land at the time but they put the first buildings on the site and the first RAF unit to be established there was in 1936. The airfield itself closed in 1958."

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