Exhibition will form centrepiece of village’s remembrance events

PUBLISHED: 07:51 30 October 2019

Robert Balaam with Liberator bomb parts

Robert Balaam with Liberator bomb parts


A collection of some 200 items from a plane that crashed in Clavering during the Second World War will be the centrepiece of an exhibition in the village.

The objects were collected by a young boy, nine-year-old Robert Balaam in the fields of his family's farm.

The plane, an American Liberator bomber, crashed soon after take-off in June 1944.

Parts of it were spread all over the countryside.

One 500 pound bomb ended up on the road at Clavering Mills having demolished an outhouse. No one was killed and all the crew bailed out safely.

The incident is still talked about in the village today. Young Robert has studied the evidence and is looking forward to speaking to visitors about his finds.

Also on show at the exhibition, which is being organised by the Clavering History Group as part of remembrance weekend, are other genuine wartime memorabilia. These include air raid wardens' hats, ration books, Home Guard certificates, and many original photographs and documents, including a complete set of wartime parish magazines.

Wartime songs will be playing on the day and there will be laptop presentations for visitors to look at with stories of what happened to Clavering people during the war.

The Clavering war memorials for both wars are in the Church of St Mary and St Clement.

From this one village, there are 150 names on the memorial to the fallen for the First World War.

There are also 28 names listed for the Second World War.

The church also has framed parchments with black ink calligraphy, headed: "Dedicated to the people of Clavering who served their country". Jacqueline Cooper, speaking for the history group said: "We are sure the exhibition will be of wider interest well beyond Clavering and all visitors will be extremely welcome."

Free entry, donations are invited to the Poppy Appeal. The exhibition will be held at Clavering Christian Centre, in Stortford Road on Sunday, November 10, from noon to 5pm.

Resourceful Clavering cooks (this is the village, after all where the chef Jamie Oliver grew up) have used authentic wartime recipes to produce "pukka" refreshments. But where did they find the powered egg?

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