The moment special ‘Thank You NHS’ Spitfire flies over Cambs on NHS birthday
PUBLISHED: 11:51 06 July 2020 | UPDATED: 12:46 06 July 2020
Residents in parts of Cambridgeshire were treated to special ‘Thank You NHS’ Spitfire flyover to mark the 72nd birthday of the National Health Service.
The restored aircraft took to the skies on Sunday, July 5 and delivered its message to hospitals across the region and in Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire.
Family-owned firm Aircraft Restoration Company, based at the Imperial War Museum in Duxford, flew the plane over hospitals including Hinchingbrooke and Royal Papworth.
Aman Coonar, a Royal Papworth surgeon who watched the flypast, said: “This NHS birthday means so much.
“It means we have come through this difficult time, we have not been beaten.”
The aircraft flew over Witchford near Ely to thank the community for sewing scrubs for the NHS during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
It flew over Royal Papworth Hospital at 17:02, just moments after the one-off ‘clap for carers’ event arranged for 5pm to mark the founding of the NHS in 1948.
It left Duxford Airfield at 4.20pm before heading to Welwyn Garden City, through Bedfordshire and past fundraising legend Captain Tom Moore’s house.
The plane flew over Hinchingbrooke Hospital at around 4.45pm before heading to Witchford for around 4.50pm - completing the flyover at Addenbrooke’s for the clap.
The pilot returned to Duxford Airfield at around 5.10pm after completing rounds across three counties – all onlookers were asked to observe social distancing.
Full ‘Thank U NHS’ Spitfire route:
- 16:20 - Duxford Airfield
- 16:28 – The New QEII Hospital, Welwyn Garden City (East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust)
- 16:33 - Luton and Dunstable University Hospital, Luton (Bedfordshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust)
- 16:36 – Lister Hospital, Stevenage (East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust)
- 16:41 – Bedford Hospital, Bedford (Bedfordshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust)
- 16:47 – Hinchingbrooke Hospital, Huntingdon (North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust)
- 16:53 – Witchford, village near Ely
- 16:58 – Fulbourn Hospital, Cambridge (Cambridgeshire & Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust)
- 17:00 – Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge (Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust)
- 17:02 – Royal Papworth Hospital, Cambridge (Royal Papworth Hospital NHS Foundation Trust)
- 17:10 – Duxford Airfield
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