Couple present historic aircraft photo to RAF base

A couple from Thame have presented a picture of a Vickers Vimy aircraft to RAF Halton.

Thursday, 12th March 2015, 3:33 pm
Arnold and Hilary Tasker, left, present a painting of a Vickers Vimy aircraft to Station by Wing Commander Ray Morley and Squadron Leader Gary Coleman at RAF Halton

The picture donated by Arnold and Hilary Tasker was accepted by wing commander Ray Morley and squadron leader Gary Coleman on behalf of RAF Halton.

The painting had been gifted to Mrs Tasker by a friend of hers, who painted the aircraft.

Mrs Tasker decided to give the painting to the RAF base as the Vimy was one of the first aircraft to arrive at Halton’s airfield.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Hilary Tasker explained how the presentation came about after she met wing commander Morley at the memorial service last year in Thame.

She said: “My husband wore his medals and as it was the anniversary of the First World War, he put on his fathers medals including his Air Force Cross.

“Wing Commander Morley commented upon it when he saw us which led to further conversation.

“Back in 1949 I met David Marshall at Reading University where he was studying fine art.

“He eventually went to Australia and made his name in the art world by painting aircraft from every era.

“I kept in touch with him and upon one of my visits to Australia he had just completed a series of paintings to commemorate the 80th Anniversary of the Great Australian Air Race and gave me a number of prints including the Vickers Vimy.

“I mentioned this picture to Ray Morley and said that if Halton would like it I would love them to have it.

“We had a memorable day’s visit and it was a real eye-opener for us.

“Ray and Gary were the most gracious of hosts and such good company.”

Wing commander Morley said: “It was a great pleasure toa ccept the painting given the Vimy’s historical link to the base.”

The Vickers Vimy was a British heavy bomber aircraft of the First World War and post First World War era.

It’s first flight was in November 1917 and it achieved success as both a military and civil aircraft.

It was retired in 1933.