"Over the moon and safely home"

Handover Event

In November 2015 the handover of the auction painting "Over the moon and safely home" for the 490th BG memorial project happened at Hardwick Warbirds, with three members of the memorial project team & the Major of Eye being on hand:
  • Richard Flagg <Chairman of the memorial project>
  • Leah Young <Treasurer of the memorial project>
  • Clive Stevens <Member of the memorial project team and historian>
  • Maria Ford <current Major of Eye>
The schedule for the afternoon was set as follows:
  • Meet members of the 490th BG memorial project team
  • Meet Maurice Hammond, the owner of Hardwick Warbirds and have a look around his aircraft and other aviation / USAAF memorabilia in the hangar
  • Meet the Major of Eye
  • Handover of the painting to Keith and cheque (£1000) to the 490th BG memorial project team
  • Article in the local newspaper (reporter and photographer on hand)
  • Photos of the handover and combinations during the event (with Janie as the backdrop)
Auction painting with Janie standing guard!
Shortly before midday, we arrived at Hardwick Warbirds to be greeted by Richard, Leah, Maurice and others from Hardwick Warbirds ready for the afternoon`s event. This being the first visit for the winning bidder Keith Taylor from Teeside to Hardwick Warbirds.

After a cuppa and a chat with everyone, it was time to pop down into the hangar and for Keith and his guest to have a close look around the aircraft. Hardwick Warbirds is home to a wonderful fleet of airworthy vintage aircraft (and Cessna Superhawk 180)…

  • North American P-51D-30NT Mustang Janie (45-11518)
  • North American P-51D-5NA Mustang Marinell (45-13521)
  • North American AT-6D Harvard Fools rush in (42-84555)
  • Boeing PT-13D Stearman (N4712V)
  • Taylorcraft Auster 5 (ex-TJ565)
What followed after the initial look around the hangar was a photoshoot with the members of the memorial project team and Keith, then a couple of Keith with the painting and lastly Keith and myself...all this being framed behind us by the absolutely beautiful Mustang Janie.

Keith, the auction painting & 490th BG MP info This was Keith`s first visit to Hardwick Warbirds...I would like to say a big thank you to Leah Young (daughter of owner of the collection Maurice Hammond for being the second half of the organising team for the handover) and Maurice Hammond for allowing us access to his collection and getting up close to his aircraft...a big hoour.

As soon as Major Ford arrived, then the handover of the cheque (many thanks Leah for sorting this) over to the 490th BG MP chairman and the painting to Keith, again photos were taken of this...

Handover with Keith and Richard
During the afternoon a reporter and freelance photographer from the local press popped in to cover the handover and speak with all parties involved, it included a photo of ALL present. The article was penned and posted online and in the local newspaper

All members at the handover

No sooner had we started, that the event came to an end and Keith embarked on his long journey back to Teeside. Keith was happy with the event and pleased to be able to do something financially to assist the project. Lastly, we had a photo taken of Keith with Maurice...and that was it...the end of a long and busy auction for the 490th BG memorial project.

Many thanks to Leah (seen on the right in the above photo) for the assistance throughout the auction, Maurice for the use of his hangar during the handover and ALL at Hardwick Warbirds for the kind and friendly atmosphere.
As a footnote:
Sadly, during October 2016, Maurice was involved in a terrible accident in "Janie" (the Mustang in the above photo). Neil (and his family) would personally like to wish Maurice a speedy recovery and keep him in our thoughts, along with his family.

Do NOT re-produce anything on this page without the permission of Neil Higgs please...