Jeff visits the site that built his Lancaster bomber

One of the Lancaster Bomber veterans who visited a factory where the World War Two plane was built, 80 years ago, lives locally.

Jeff Brown, from Mottram St Andrew, was 18 when he went to war. He took part in Operation Manna – a food drop which saved thousands in Holland from starvation.

The 93-year-old said: “We flew at a very low levels, just a few hundred feet and then dropped thousands of tonnes of food.”

A former pilot and a bomb aimer were among the nine men, aged in their 90s, who stood side by side to commemorate the factory’s contribution to aviation.

The former Lancaster bomber crews were reunited

The Avro factory in Chadderton, Greater Manchester, built up to seven bombers a day during the war.

During the war, sections of Lancaster bombers were taken from Chadderton to Woodford. Image ⓒ AVRO Heritage Museum

The historic journey made by the Lancaster bomber on Tuesday was re-enacted to mark the milestone. Sections of the aircraft would be transported from Chadderton through the streets to Woodford to be assembled.

A Lancaster cockpit made the same journey to mark the factory’s anniversary as well as the 80th anniversary of the declaration of the war.

Woodford Aerodrome was owned by BAE Systems until 2011, and was a hub of aircraft design and construction, with the famous Nimrod aircraft also being built there, and Concorde aircraft also regularly landing at the airfield. The Avro Heritage Trust was created following the closure of BAE’s operations at the site, with the aim of preserving the site’s rich aviation history for future generations. The Museum – located in the Aerodrome’s former fire station – was opened in 2015, and has gone from strength to strength since then.

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