VETERAN air crew were treated to a day out with former colleagues thanks to the generosity of a local pilot.

Julian Minns, of Cleveland Flying Club, based at Teesside Airport, flew ex-navigators David Shuttleworth and Jack Hindmoor, and Lancaster Bomber pilot Tony Chamberlain, to a reunion at Kemble, near Cirencester, Gloucestershire.

The event was part of the Project Propeller, an annual nationwide gathering of RAF veterans, to which pilots from private clubs around the country volunteer to fly veterans.

Although bad weather delayed the flight, it meant the veterans were able to watch a memorial service for the Royal Canadian Airforce, held at the airport, and still enjoy an enjoyable afternoon at Kemble.

Events on the day included a trip to the Bristol Aero Museum, the chance to see a Dakota plane, as well as dancing and plenty of chat.

The return trip also included a chance to see from the air some of the airfields in Lincolnshire the wartime crews had flown from.

Mr Hindmoor, 79, from Yarm, near Stockton, said: "It was a wonderful day and amazing to see all the grey-haired old men there with walking sticks, which made us realise what it was all about."

Mr Shuttleworth, 77, from Eaglescliffe, said: "We were the last to arrive, but the last to leave. It was an extremely good day."

Mr Shuttleworth is secretary of the Cleveland branch of the Air Crew Association, which meets every third Thursday of the month at the Royal Naval Club in William Street, Stockton, and said he would be delighted to welcome new members.