IT never ceases to amaze me how life comes full circle and, as if we weren’t dizzy enough, the possibility of a full revolution to the name of Teesside Airport is back on the agenda.

In living up to his election promise to return the airport back to public ownership, Tees Valley’s elected Mayor Ben Houchen has launched an online poll to give the public the chance to go back in time.

After all the years of navel gazing and trying to shoehorn in the new name of Durham Tees Valley Airport since 2004, we may be about to return to square one.

It is true that many still refer to it as Teesside Airport, and it is also the case that many road signs still point to Teesside Airport.

But as a Teesside lad born and bred, my vote would be against yet another round of tedious debate. Only people like me – from Middlesbrough and born in the sixties – really call themselves Teessiders. Durham Tees Valley isn’t a perfect solution but it’s better than one of the options put forward when the argument was at its height 15 years ago – “Chubby Brown Airport”.

While we’re on the subject, and things are back up in the air, I can’t escape the irony that it was this very debate that led to one of the most memorable campaigns in the history of The Northern Echo.

An elderly, passionate woman called Betty Amlin wrote to the paper insisting that the best name would be “Mynarski Airport” in honour of Canadian airman Andrew Mynarski who had been based there during the Second World War.

She described Mynarski as “The Forgotten Hero”, recounting how he had died while saving the life of a comrade who was trapped in the burning fuselage of their stricken Lancaster during a bombing mission.

It wasn’t a particularly long letter but its impact was lasting. There was never a realistic option to adopt the name of Mynarski Airport but The Northern Echo’s determined fundraising appeal led to a life-sized bronze statue being erected outside St George Hotel, which had served as the officers’ mess.

For as long as I live, I’ll never forget the crowded unveiling ceremony when a Lancaster bomber flew low over the statue several times in proud salute.

The question now is what will happen to the statue in the new era ushered in by Mr Houchen’s election vow? And what will happen to the aviation memorabilia, lovingly collected by Geoff Hill, chairman of the Middleton St George Memorial Association? Aircraft control panels, uniforms, photographs, documents, and pieces of equipment are stored in a makeshift museum in the hotel, which is about to be shut down.

To be fair, there have been firm reassurances from Mr Houchen that the statue and the memorabilia will be found an appropriate home, but Mr Hill is still moved to use an appropriate phrase: “Until we see a firm plan, it’s all up in the air.”

Let’s hope that the new home is in the main airport terminal, where as many people as possible, will be inspired to reflect on the heroism of the likes of Andrew Mynarski.

That’s a name definitely worth sign-posting.

A YEAR ago, this column sang the praises of plucky Bill Blewitt, the oldest member of the Age Uk Ukulele Band in Darlington.

Now turned 98, Bill has taken his musical career a stage further by cutting a disc.

“In truth, I’m not much of a ukulele player but I love to sing and I’ve always dreamed of writing a song and recording it,” he explained.

Bill wrote the lyrics to “A Christmas Carol” and, with the help of band leader Lol Crallan, a catchy tune was composed. With “Me and My Shadow” on the B-side, Bill’s family have now financed the production of hundreds of copies of the CD to be sold for £3 each in aid of Age UK.

Lol said: “Bill’s our secret weapon – always the first on the solo list to give us as song so it was a pleasure to help him with the CD.”

The ukulele band can be seen playing in the Cornmill Shopping Centre in Darlington from 11.30am tomorrow and they’ll be making a guest appearance on the BBC Tees breakfast show on Christmas Eve.

In the meantime, I’m honoured to have bought the first signed copy of Bill’s CD. That might qualify me as his biggest fan, except I’m giving it to my Mum for Christmas.

Anyone interested in buying a copy should call Age UK Volunteer Manager Lynn Walton on 01325 362832.