Crowds flock to 50th anniversary air disaster commemoration at Fernhurst

ks171113-5 Mid Fern Plane Crash  phot kate'Crowds attending the unveiling.ks171113-5 SUS-170511-173539008
ks171113-5 Mid Fern Plane Crash phot kate'Crowds attending the unveiling.ks171113-5 SUS-170511-173539008

A large crowd gathered outside Fernhurst Village Hall for the unveiling of a plaque to commemorate the 50th anniversary of one of the worst civil aviation disasters in UK history.

It was unveiled by the Rev Nick Haigh during a two day exhibition of the crash when an Iberian Airways aeroplane crashed on Blackdown on November 4, 1967.

ks171113-2 Mid Fern Plane Crash  phot kate'Organizer Christine Maynard with a piece of the aircraft on dispay.ks171113-2 SUS-170511-173624008

ks171113-2 Mid Fern Plane Crash phot kate'Organizer Christine Maynard with a piece of the aircraft on dispay.ks171113-2 SUS-170511-173624008

St Margaret’s Church was also full for a memorial service conducted by Mr Haigh.

Among those who attended the events were chairman of Fernhurst Parish Council Heather Bicknell and MP Gillian Keegan as well as many of those who attended the crash as police officers, firefighters and villagers who rallied to help.

The exhibition was mounted by a team from Fernhurst Archives headed by director Christine Maynard who said nearly 950 people attended the exhibition: “They were queueing to get in and it surpassed our wildest dreams,” she said. “What was also wonderful was the amount of people recorded their memories for us at the exhibition.”

She thanked Elaine Ireland who masterminded the display boards and a video. She also thanked Rosemary Foster and her volunteers who provided refreshments.

ks171113-3 Mid Fern Plane Crash  phot kate'Tony Gilks, left, police constable for the west sussex constabulary at the time, and Malcolm Barrett, detective constable.ks171113-3 SUS-170511-173635008

ks171113-3 Mid Fern Plane Crash phot kate'Tony Gilks, left, police constable for the west sussex constabulary at the time, and Malcolm Barrett, detective constable.ks171113-3 SUS-170511-173635008

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ks171113-6 Mid Fern Plane Crash  phot kate'Visitors were encouraged to write down their memories of the day.ks171113-6 SUS-170511-173601008

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ks171113-4 Mid Fern Plane Crash  phot kate'Visitors to the hall look at some newspaper cuttings of the time.ks171113-4 SUS-170511-173528008

ks171113-4 Mid Fern Plane Crash phot kate'Visitors to the hall look at some newspaper cuttings of the time.ks171113-4 SUS-170511-173528008

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ks171113-8 Mid Fern Plane Crash  phot kate SUS-170511-173613008

ks171113-8 Mid Fern Plane Crash phot kate SUS-170511-173613008

ks171113-7 Mid Fern Plane Crash  phot kate'MP Gillian Keegan looking at the exhibition.ks171113-7 SUS-170511-173550008

ks171113-7 Mid Fern Plane Crash phot kate'MP Gillian Keegan looking at the exhibition.ks171113-7 SUS-170511-173550008