Armed Forces Day here at Avondale was an extra special occasion this year thanks to a specially organised flyover of a Lancaster Bomber.
As many of our residents served in the Armed Forces or played an important part in the war effort on home soil, we applied to the RAF for this unique opportunity knowing just how extraordinary it would be. In June, the RAF’s Flying Officer confirmed we had been successful in our application and our staff set about organising a day to remember.
On Sunday 30th June, the home was abuzz with excitement as residents, families and staff waited for the flyover to begin shortly after midday. The plane, which flew via nearby RAF Halton, did three circuits of the home and was a poignant reminder of both the bravery and sacrifice of those who served.
Resident, Bill Wrighton who served in the Royal Navy, said of the occasion: ‘It brought back good memories from when I was in the navy. I remember servicing one then going on a test flight in it. They cut three of the four engines which scared the life out of me but they started them again, which is always good!”
Another resident, Nancy Pearce, said: “It took me back to when I was in the army – Lancaster’s were two a penny then. I remember parking my ambulance under the wings of the planes as it was the only place to get fuel.”
Organising events and activities which are meaningful to our residents is an important focus for the staff of Avondale. Events such as this provide an array of benefits, allowing residents to collectively reminisce about their younger years, encouraging conversations about the experiences they have had.
Our home manager, Shaun Canavan, understood just what this day would mean for the residents, commenting: “It was very emotional seeing not only our residents experiencing a moment that brought back memories but also, the excitement it brought to our community. It was great to see so many people from different generations appreciating the flyover and everything the RAF and the Lancaster did for Britain. It was breath-taking.”