model

Hawker Hunter leaves Fort Paull on journey to its ‘spiritual’ home at the historic Hornby headquarters in Margate

The Hawker Hunter XF509 being loaded on Thursday at Fort Paull near Hull on the start of her journey to Margate Pic: Alex WoodThe Hawker Hunter XF509 being loaded on Thursday at Fort Paull near Hull on the start of her journey to Margate Pic: Alex Wood

The Hawker Hunter XF509 being loaded on Thursday at Fort Paull near Hull on the start of her journey to Margate Pic: Alex Wood

Lyndon Davies, chief executive of Hornby, bought the Hawker Hunter XF509 for £14,000 at auction earlier this year and plans to use it as a tribute to employees who died in recent times.

The aircraft was once fixed on a pole outside the Humbrol factory on Hedon Road in Hull, which closed in 2006.

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It later moved to the military museum at Fort Paull to the east of Hull until that closed last year.

The plane which stood outside for decades is now in a hangar at Manston in Kent, where she will stay temporarilyThe plane which stood outside for decades is now in a hangar at Manston in Kent, where she will stay temporarily
The plane which stood outside for decades is now in a hangar at Manston in Kent, where she will stay temporarily

Hornby owns brands including Hornby model railways, Scalextric, Humbrol and Airfix – which makes exactly the same kit version of the classic British jet aircraft.

The planes – which some believe were among the most beautiful ever made – entered RAF service in 1954 and still provided training support almost 40 years later.

Flight specialist for Hornby Hobbies Michael Clegg watched on as the plane was removed from its plinth and hoisted onto the back of a lorry for the start of the journey to Manston airfield in Kent, where it will be getting a bit of “TLC” before moving to Hornby’s headquarters in Margate.

The plane arrived at Manston on Friday morning and is now standing on her own wheels and under cover in a hangar for the first time in decades.

Auctioneer Andrew Baitson (pictured) sold the plane to Lyndon Davies earlier this yearAuctioneer Andrew Baitson (pictured) sold the plane to Lyndon Davies earlier this year
Auctioneer Andrew Baitson (pictured) sold the plane to Lyndon Davies earlier this year

The former RAF airfield played part in history as Meteor jets – the first Allied jet in service – flew from there in WW2.

The XF509 – which started out with 54 Squadron in 1957 and ended its career with No. 4 Flying Training School at RAF Valley – has its own 1:48 scale model.

Mr Clegg said: “She was a little reluctant to leave her plinth at first – she quite likes it here in Hull.

“She’s going to get some TLC (at Manston) and by the time we get her to Margate we’ll have a proper position for her.

The Hawker Hunter leaving Fort Paull on its journey to Manston, then Margate Pic: Michael CleggThe Hawker Hunter leaving Fort Paull on its journey to Manston, then Margate Pic: Michael Clegg
The Hawker Hunter leaving Fort Paull on its journey to Manston, then Margate Pic: Michael Clegg

“Lyndon Davies has done this out of the goodness of his heart – it shows how great a boss he is and how he cares about his staff.

“The people we lost really knocked us for six. This is a nice way for us to physically remember them.

“At the moment the intention is to display her at her traditional home in Margate, the old Hornby Hobbies factory, which used to make the trains.

“We have gone back (there) in the last couple of years – gone full circle to our spiritual home and this is where it will end up hopefully.

“We are all excited at the prospect of having her come home.”

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Family of Scots lorry driver killed by speeding drink-driver get £500k payout

THE loved ones of a lorry driver killed after a speeding drink-driver careered into him have received more than £500,000 in damages.

Malcolm Easton, 42, died from head injuries when his HGV plunged off the M74 near Lesmahagow, Lanarkshire, on May 2, 2019.

Malcolm Easton's family have received a £500k payout after a civil case

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Malcolm Easton’s family have received a £500k payout after a civil case

Michael Hall, 38, was more than twice the drink-drive limit when he tried to overtake the 44-tonne truck in heavy rain at almost 90mph and lost control of his BMW.

Around 6.30pm, Hall attempted to speed past the lorry on the northbound carriageway but is believed to have aquaplaned and struck the HGV, sending it down an embankment and killing Mr Easton[1].

The BMW 240 driver, heading from hometown Leeds to Ayrshire, was later found to have 47mg of alcohol per 100ml of breath – the legal limit is 22mg.

Mr Easton was killed after Michael Hall, above, crashed into him while more than twice the drink-drive limit

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Mr Easton was killed after Michael Hall, above, crashed into him while more than twice the drink-drive limit

The booze in his system is understood to have been the result of Hall still being over the limit from watching Liverpool beat Barcelona in the Champions League semi-final the night before.

At the High Court in Glasgow, Hall was jailed for four years and banned from driving for seven years and four months after admitting to causing death by dangerous driving.

Despite the conviction, the heartbroken family of Mr Easton, from Alexandria, West Dunbartonshire, launched a civil action as they sought more answers, as well as reparations.

Hall tried to overtake Mr Easton at 89mph on the M74 northbound in Lanarkshire

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Hall tried to overtake Mr Easton at 89mph on the M74 northbound in Lanarkshire

In a statement, his loved ones said: “After Malcolm died we were left with so many emotions and questions.

“The driver of the BMW might be in jail but losing his liberty for a few years in no way compares to the suffering we have endured and will continue to face in the future.

“Our family was left in a place where we didn’t know how we’d be able to keep going but the civil action helped address details for us that did not emerge from the prosecution, so we’re grateful for the clarity and answers as it helps us manage things going forwards.



“At the very least we hope the wider public learn from what happened here so other families are spared from similar pains and losses.

“We now wish to have our privacy respected as continue with our lives but before we do we’d like to offer our sincere thanks to everyone who supported us for the last two years.”

David Nellaney, Partner at Digby Brown Solicitors in Glasgow, helped the Easton family with their civil case[2].

He said: “What makes the loss of Malcolm harder to comprehend was how avoidable it was.

“This accident reinforces the need for all motorists to exercise extreme care when getting behind the wheel after consuming alcohol the night before and consider the impact this has on their ability to drive safely.

“It is not acceptable to ‘feel good enough to drive’.

“If there is any doubt about being legally safe to drive then motorists should simply avoid driving as the consequence of mistakes caused by driving over the legal limit can cost lives.

“The level of dignity, strength and resilience the Easton family has shown throughout this very difficult period is immeasurable.

“I only hope that the conclusion of this case can now bring some closure and allow them to move on with their lives because it is the least they deserve as a family.”

Shocking moment Fife woman caused head-on crash with van while trying to overtake lorry


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References

  1. ^ sending it down an embankment and killing Mr Easton (www.thescottishsun.co.uk)
  2. ^ civil case (www.digbybrown.co.uk)
  3. ^ [email protected] (www.thescottishsun.co.uk)