Crayford residents were graced with a royal visit yesterday afternoon as part of the long-awaited unveiling of the new Alcock and Brown memorial statue.

The Duke of Kent, Prince Edward, was warmly welcomed by excited onlookers during the special occasion meant to mark 100 years since Alcock & Brown made the first-ever trans-Atlantic flight in a Vickers Vimy, a plane originally designed and built in the Vickers Factory, in Crayford.

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Their historic flight left Newfoundland, Canada on June 14 and flew 16.5 hours to Clifden on the west coast of Ireland.

During his visit, the Duke officially unveiled the new sculpture bench in the town centre, designed by artist Tony Stallard.

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The stunning exhibit was partially funded by a generous donation of £25,000 from The Erith Group back in February.

The Alcock and Brown Centenary Project Group (Crayford), which is made up of members of the Crayford community, local historical and community groups, approached the company last year and they were very happy to support the special cause.

Along with The Erith Group's donation, the project received a grant of £39,100 from the Heritage Lottery Fund earlier this year.