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70-year-old wartime plane returns to North East airfield

Huge crowds visited Durham Tees Valley Airport to catch a rare glimpse of an iconic wartime aeroplane. The 70-year-old Lancaster Bomber is one of only two in the world which can still fly.

Plane enthusiasts were joined by WWII veterans. They held an emotional memorial service to coincide with the visit of the Lancaster.

Jonny Blair reports:

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Picture: Lancaster bomber returns to North East airfield

Lancaster bomber returns to airfield where it was based in WWII
Lancaster bomber returns to airfield where it was based in WWII

One of the last flying Lancaster Bombers is returning to the airfield where it was based during World War Two.

The Avro Lancaster bomber was built in Canada but operated out of RAF Middleton St George, which is now Durham Tees Valley Airport. The plane will take part in a flypast at 3pm on Thursday, 28th August.

Teesside remembers WW2 hero given highest honour

Veterans on Teesside are remembering a Canadian airman, who was awarded the Victoria Cross after being shot down over France during the Second World War.

  • Pilot Officer Andrew Mynarski
Statue of Andrew Mynarski
A ceremony takes place around the statue of Andrew Mynarski, which now stands at Durham Tees Valley Airport

Andrew Mynarski was a member of the Canadian Royal Air Force, who was stationed at Middleton St George airfield - now Durham Tees Valley Airport - during the Second World War.

In 1944, his aircraft was shot down over France. He attempted to save a colleague who was trapped in the rear turret of the aircraft as it caught fire and fell to the ground. His colleague survived, but PO Mynarski was badly burnt and died of his injuries.

He was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross, the Commonwealth's highest military honour.

In 1988, a Lancaster Bomber was restored and dedicated to his memory.

300 attend service marking arrival of Lancaster Bomber

Hundreds of people, many of them veterans, have attended a service to mark the arrival of one of the world's last remaining Lancaster Bombers.

Ceremony
Veterans and other members of the public stand for the Last Post during the ceremony

The plane was based at the Middleton St George airfield, which is now Durham Tees Valley Airport, during World War Two.

It is dedicated to Andrew Mynarski, a Canadian officer who was shot down over France after taking off from the Teesside airfield. He was later awarded the Victoria Cross, the Commonwealth's highest honour for gallantry.

The ceremony took place around the statue of Mynarski, which now stands outside the airport.

Ceremony
About 300 people attended the service around the Andrew Mynarski statue

Members of the public will now be able to view the plane before a flypast at 3pm. It is one of only two surviving Lancaster bomber that still fly.

WW2 Lancaster bomber returns to North East airfield

Lancaster bomber
Lancaster bombers at an airshow in East Sussex earlier this month Credit: Gareth Fuller/PA

One of the last flying Lancaster Bombers is returning to the airfield where it was based during World War Two.

The Avro Lancaster bomber was built in Canada but operated out of RAF Middleton St George, which is now Durham Tees Valley Airport. The plane will take part in a flypast at 3pm on Thursday, 28th August.

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Panel production at Nissan temporarily transferred

Panel production at Washington's Nissan plant - the UK's biggest vehicle production factory - has been temporarily transferred.

There has been an over-run in scheduled maintenance work that has meant panel production has had to be transferred to a different press line.

Workers have been given the option of booking in lieu time or holidays until the work is completed, or carrying out other jobs at Nissan's plant on Wearside.

We can confirm the production schedule has been temporarily suspended at Sunderland Plant following scheduled maintenance work in our Press Shop.

Panel production is being transferred to an alternative press line for vehicle assembly to resume in the coming days.

Following the repair we will return to full production on both lines, so customers can be reassured there will be minimal impact on their orders.

– Spokesman for Nissan Motor Manufacturing UK

Train operators shortlisted for rail franchises

Six train operators have been shortlisted for two franchises covering the North of England.

The Government has promised a 'a world-class rail network' for passengers, but added that the franchise bidders would need to improve customer service and passenger satisfaction on the two networks.

The franchises connect passengers travelling into and between Leeds, Liverpool, Sheffield, Manchester and Newcastle, and onwards to Edinburgh and Glasgow.

Those competing for the Northern franchise are Abellio, which is currently running Northern, Arriva and Govia. The three shortlisted for TransPennine Express (TPE) are FirstGroup, Keolis and Stagecoach. FirstGroup and Keolis currently operate TPE in a joint venture.

The Campaign for Better Transport and the RMT transport union have expressed concern that rail services in northern England could be cut.

The Government said bidders will be expected to show how they will make the most of the Government's £1bn investment programme for the rail network in the North of England, which will provide faster and more reliable journeys, more capacity, better trains and improved connections for passengers across the region.

"Building a railway that is fit for the 21st century is a vital part of our long-term economic plan, connecting businesses and communities, generating jobs and boosting growth, and we need strong private sector partners to help us achieve this ambition."

– Rail Minister Claire Perry

Hartlepool nuclear plant shut down for safety tests

Hartlepool's nuclear power station has been shut down and will remain closed for an estimated eight weeks while safety tests are carried out, after a defect was found at a similar plant in Lancashire.

Hartlepool nuclear power station
Hartlepool nuclear power station normally generates enough electricity for two million homes

EDF Energy, which runs both plants, said the tests were a precaution and no problems had been found so far with the plant in Hartlepool. Staff will continue to go into work but no electricity will be generated while the plant is shut down.

A defect was discovered in a boiler unit at the company's plant in Heysham, Lancashire, which has the same design at the 30-year-old power station in Hartlepool.

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