Old Photos of Witham

The Park, showing one of the trees planted by the RAF in 1946, with the plaque

Taken: 1968 or 1969 approx, Ref: M1011

View of the Park (recreation ground), Maldon Road, showing one of the trees planted by the RAF in 1946 after the Second World War, with the plaque. Looking east; also shows the old library in background (single storey).

The Essex Weekly News reported that “six officers and other ranks from the RAF base at Rivenhall each planted a young oak tree to commemorate the story of the flying men in the urban district, and as a token of thanks for the hospitality shown them by the townspeople. The first was planted by Group Captain A J Biggar, who was station commander at Rivenhall. All six bore a metal tablet placing on record ‘gratitude for the kindness of the people of Witham to the RAF crews stationed at Rivenhall between October 1944 and March 1946’. Among those present was the Chairman, Mr D J Maidment, and members and officials of the Council, and many prominent townspeople, who were invited to a cocktail party at the airdrome [sic] by the Group Captain and his officers”.

The trees have flourished ever since, but the whereabouts of the plaques is unknown.

Photos concerning these trees are M847, M849, M854, M1010, M1011, M1012, M1013, M1014, and M1218.

RefM1011
Date taken1968 or 1969 approx
SourceGurton, Sid
Posted on Full size 2139 × 1419

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Every effort has been made to contact the owners of the photos or their relatives, to obtain their permission to use their pictures. But I have not always managed to find them, for which I apologise.

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