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Last Updated: Tuesday, 23 August 2005, 13:34 GMT 14:34 UK
Vintage plane back at WWII base
The arrival of the Avro Anson at Carew Airfield in Pembrokeshire

Having just restored a World War II airfield control tower, aviation enthusiasts are turning their attention to a vintage plane to go with it.

An Avro Anson was delivered to Carew Airfield in Pembrokeshire in pieces on the back of two lorries on Tuesday.

The local aviation group, which paid just over 3,000 for it, will now work to restore it to its former glory.

The twin-engine planes were based at Carew, and were used for spotting German submarines during the conflict.

Although most of the airfield buildings have long since been demolished, the group of amateur enthusiasts spent five years fully restoring the original control tower to how it would have looked in the 1940s.

It is used for school visits, and has been open to the public for the first time this summer.

Avro Anson
An Avro Anson in action above Pembrokeshire during the war

Now members will set about restoring the Avro Anson, bought from the Gloucestershire Jet Age Museum with the help of a Heritage Lottery grant, but have admitted it will take several years to complete.

Vice-chairman of the group, David Neale, said: "It's going to take a lot of restoration but it's a project we will try to involve the whole community in."

He said the eventual aim was to create a small museum at the site, possibly with a hangar in which to store the Anson, as a tribute to the village's role in both World Wars.

The Aviation Group is assisted by volunteers from the village including some of the local children.

Lucy Blayney, 14, who was at the airfield to watch the plane arrive, said: "I like knowing about the planes and the tower, it's fun to help out."

The plane was transported in pieces on the back of two lorries

During WWII, the airfield was a base for maritime patrols, but operational flying stopped in 1942 when it became a training base for aircrew wireless operators, before it was shut down when hostilities ceased.

Peter Davies, who lives on a farm overlooking the field, said he was 13 in 1941 when the base was at its busiest.

"There were planes coming and going all the time. There were Oxfords, Ansons and others and we would see the occasional Spitfire but they were based at Angle," he said.

Mr Neale said they had been very fortunate to get hold of a genuine Anson, even if it needed a lot of work.

The restoration project will be carried out in conjunction with Pembrokeshire Council's Museums and the Coastal Park Authority.

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