On Saturday 11th August, customers at the Bull & Dog Inn in Burscough were treated to a fly over by the world’s oldest Swordfish plane.
Fairey Swordfish W5856 is the oldest surviving Swordfish and was built in 1941 by Blackburn Aircraft and served with the Royal Navy on active service in the Mediterranean for three years. After the war, she was acquired by a number of different owners over the years.
In 1990 the plane was bought by BAE who lovingly restored her to flying condition and following a successful test flight at Brough in May 1993, it was gifted to the Royal Navy Historic Flight. Following being grounded in 2003 due to corrosion, BAE systems stepped in and built a brand-new set of wings. The plane was finally restored to full flying condition thanks to a major grant from the Peter Harrison Foundation. The Aircraft re-joined the display circuit in 2015 carrying a new paint scheme which depicts a Swordfish of 820 Naval Air Squadron during the attack on the Bismark in 1941.
The fly over saw the legendary plane circle the HMS Ringtail monument and the Bull & Dog pub at 2.07pm before heading on to the Blackpool Air Show. As part of the fly past, the Bull & Dog pub handed out free whiskey to all ex and current members of the Armed Forces.
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