MAGGIE Aggiss was proud to receive a commendation for work with Wattisham airfield’s museum but it is also part of her family history.
Her grandparents owned Honeypot Farm which was demolished to make way for the airfield in the late 1930s.
As chairman of Wattisham Airfield Heritage Group, she was presented last Friday with a Commander’s Commendation by Station Commander Col Neale Moss and Bury MP David Ruffley.
Col Moss said: “Maggie Aggiss deserves recognition as the driving force in recording and preserving Wattisham’s history. She has been instrumental in establishing the station museum in 1992, creating a memorial to those who lost their lives while serving here and overseeing the restoration of Hunter XG194.”
Mrs Aggiss said: “Wattisham is part of my local history and I’ve always been keen on aviation.”
Her family saw the arrival of the RAF’s Blenheim bombers in 1939, who flew the first bombing raid of World War II. They saw the USAAF come in 1942 and the return of the RAF in 1950. In 1993 it went to the Army Air Corps, whose Apache helicopters are now there.
The museum’s 1943 Nissen hut was the base’s chapel. Restoration was done free by Mansell Construction, who work for Defence Estates. Managing director Dean Burgess said: “It was a challenge but it’s all about giving something back.”
The heritage group’s volunteers will soon put the final black coat on their Hunter jet after two years work.
It had been used to train soldiers to disarm Soviet aircraft until it was found to have been with the Wattisham-based Black Arrows, predecessors of the Red Arrows disbanded in 1961. It led a 22 jet loop at the 1958 Farnborough Air Show.
The museum is open on the first Sunday of the month from April 8 to October 7. Visits are by appointment: see www.wattishamairfieldmuseum.org