On this day in Yorkshire 1952

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Sabre jet ‘plane shows its paces at more than 600 m.p.h. in front of a 100,000 crowd at Yeadon.

More than 100.000 people, the biggest crowd ever to attend an air pageant in the North of England, went to Yeadon Aerodrome, Leeds, yesterday, for an air display organised by the Soldiers’, Sailors’ and Airmen’s Families Association.

Flying honours in the display went to a Sabre jet aircraft, which was flown from Church Fenton R.A.F. Station by a pilot of the Royal Canadian Air Force, and the aerobatic team of 609 (West Riding) Squadron. Royal Auxiliary Air Force, in their Meteor jet ‘planes.

The Sabre, flying at more than 600 m.p.h., thrilled and amazed the crowd with its high manoeuvrability.

Four times it flew low over the airfield at high speed with its powerful engine roaring deafeningly. Children clutched their parents with fright and one’s ears sang for seconds afterwards with the noise.

Afterwards the pilot flew back to Church Fenton and repeated his performance for men on the station.

The seven Meteor jets of Squadron gave a first-class exhibition of high-speed precision formation all the more remarkable for its precision because of the bumpy flying conditions. The crowd gave the pilots an ovation as they flew off to their base at Church Fenton.

There was also formation flying by four Sabres, and Canberra and Vampire jet aircraft. The display ended with spectacular aerobatics by a Jugoslav, Dragoljub Aleksic. who made two circuits of the airfield hanging by his teeth to a leather strap fixed to a ladder trailing under a biplane. It was an exciting ending to a thrilling day.

Spectators started arriving shortly after 9 a.m. and cars were still going into the car parks seven hours later.

As far as the eye could see there were crowds and the roofs of hundreds of cars gleamed in the sunlight.

The West Riding Police and Army signallers, many of them with “walkietalkie“ two-way radio sets, controlled the crowds and the traffic and did excellent work getting them to the airfield and away from it. Delays were inevitable. Vehicles crawled bonnet to bumper on all the roads, but the traffic kept moving and there were serious holds-up.

After the display there was an unbroken line of traffic from the airfield along the Bradford to Harrogate road, through Headingley and into the centre of Leeds.

The event was sponsored by the Yorkshire Evening News.

When most of the spectators had left after the Air Display at Yeadon Aerodrome yesterday, firemen dealt with a blaze which broke out in grass and undergrowth.

About 500 square yards at Hunger Hills on the southern boundary of the aerodrome, used during the display as a spectators’ vantage point and car park, were affected.

Lighted matches and cigarette ends dropped by the crowd were blamed.

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