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Last Updated: Friday, 29 September 2006, 19:43 GMT 20:43 UK
Workers bid farewell to RAF Hythe
RAF Hythe
In the 1930s Vickers Supermarine built flying boats at the base
More than 200 workers bid farewell to their jobs and workplace at a ceremony marking the end of 40 years of US presence at a Hampshire shipyard.

RAF Hythe, which has been run by the American Army since the 1960s, was used to service and maintain watercraft.

It has not yet been decided what the base will be used for once the MoD is handed control on Saturday.

Workers said they were sad to see the shipyard close but most have managed to find employment elsewhere.

Col Bobby Ray Pinkston, of the US Field Army Support Brigade, said: "There is some heartfelt sorrow for folks leaving here, but we also understand that we live in a changing world and that we just have to move on to those changes."

Julian Lewis, MP for New Forest East, said he was concerned the site would be sold off and used for housing development.

"That would be a monstrous misuse of one of the few major brown field sites where industry can actually be situated in my constituency," he said.

An announcement about the closure of RAF Hythe was made earlier this year.

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