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Last Updated: Friday, 20 January 2006, 16:21 GMT
Memorial for village plane crash
Scene of the crash 50 years ago
Two people on the ground were among four killed in the air crash
A remembrance service has been held on the 50th anniversary of a plane crash in Sussex which killed four people.

The Meteor jet aircraft crashed in the centre of Wadhurst on 20 January, 1956, killing the pilot, navigator and two local residents.

An RAF inquiry found the pilot, flying officer Leonard Stoate, lost control after circling the village where his parents ran a newsagents shop.

It was revealed the plane was 120 miles from base when the limit was 60.

'Fierce fire'

Retired pub landlord Thomas Steep and his house keeper, Emily Reed, were also killed when the plane hit their house.

The plane obliterated a large area of the High Street, including the 500-year-old Queen's Head pub and the International Stores.

Joy Creasey was a young mum visiting her friend on the day of the crash, and recalled the actual impact was just like a "terrific wind".

She said: "We just left the children and dashed out into the road and we could see a bungalow burning fiercely."

Former part-time firefighter Bob Wilmot was one of the first on the scene.

"We got 400 gallons of water but of course that was like just boiling a kettle on a fire like that," he said.




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