Illustrated presentation on WW2 in the presentation of our Patron Wes Streeting MP on his birthday. Wes is holding a card made by year 6 pupils.
Fairlop Heritage Group can give guided walks of Fairlop Waters, once restrictions are lifted.
It is worth remembering past events, which have led to a peaceful Country Park we enjoy today. Six years of two World Wars are a blink of an eye, Fairlop Plain has history back to c.450,000 BC.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org to register an interest that you would like a guided walk as an individual, group or School.
The walks will not be affected by adverse weather as these can take place in the Boathouse.
Those with disabilities are welcome. Fairlop Waters has suitable parking (*) and footpaths and the Boathouse can cope with wheelchairs and has adequate toilets.
(*) A RingGo payment system in use at Fairlop Waters. There are no cash payments taken at parking meters, instead customers will need to use RingGo to pay.
The Memorial path installed
Despite the restrictions and consequences of Covid 19, Vision successfully installed a memorial path to the memorial.
The story of Farsi Children at Fairlop
When Fairlop Heritage Group had a stand at Fairlop Fair, a group of Asian children arrived, accompanied by their teacher. He was the only one who spoke English. The children were Iranian and spoke Farsi.
I had brought with me a section of Spitfire VB BM361, flown from Fairlop for the last time by Karel Pavlik of 313 squadron on 5 May 1942. He took part in Circus 157, the code name for an operational tactic in which RAF bombers were sent out to bomb vital targets in France.
24 of these fighters engaged in dog fights with 21 Focke-Wulf 190 fighters. There followed twenty minutes of dramatic aerobatics and dog fighting in which four young men were killed, with several pilots returning to their airfields either wounded or with badly damaged aircraft.
Telling the story to the teacher, he translated it into Farsi, as the section of Spitfire contained within a Perspex box was being passed around by the children..
Sgt. Karel Pavlik in his Spitfire spiralled down and buried itself in the side of Kemmelberg, so deep, his body, still strapped in his cockpit, was not recovered until 1945. It appears that he was shot in the head and died before his Spitfire reached the ground.
On 5 May 2011, I visited the crash sites and laid a wreath during a moving ceremony at the Menin Gate in Ypres. Afterwards I saw the Merlin engine of Karels Spitfire in the garage of Wim Huyghes who excavated it. He the presented me with a piece of wreckage.
This was still being passed around by children.
When the teacher realised what the item was being passed around, he retrieved it and handed it back to me. I asked why?
His reply surprised me. ‘In case it gets damaged.’
I laughed, as It was not possible for it to be damaged any further!
The planned VE Day event on 8 May 2020, at Fairlop Waters Country Park
to share a moment of celebration has been postponed.
Fairlop Heritage Group, Vision RCL and LB Redbridge, were due to have an afternoon of celebration, during which a memorial path would have been dedicated.
VE Day was celebrated in Hanover Gardens, but restricted by Covid 19 as can be seen by the collage below.
Top left : RAF display ; centre: David & Norman pose as they did in 1945
middle: Hanover Garden residents observe the two minute silence as Revd Kate Lovesey lays a wreath at the Fairlop Memorial
bottom: Hanover Garden displays by Eileen and Trish
below: Emily Benson age 6 has raised £500 fo the NHS and drew artwork for VE Day.