Tributes have been paid this week to the efforts of Moray’s Lord Lieutenant to help secure and protect the last Nimrod aircraft in the region.
Over the years thousands of airman were employed in protecting the UK’s maritime interests from the air via Nimrod aircraft operating from Kinloss.
When the project to replace the aircraft with an updated version was cancelled by the UK Government and the RAF withdrawn from the base, there were fears that Moray would not be able to retain at least one aircraft as they were broken up or dispersed to museum’s around the country.
However, thanks to the efforts of the Moravia group, formed to secure the heritage of military flying in Moray, the last remaining Nimrod – XV244 – was secured and will soon form the centrepiece of a historical aviation centre in the region.
This week members of Moravia paid tribute to the work of Lt Col Grenville Johnston in securing and protecting XV244 for Moray.
A spokesman said: “Moravia was privileged and honoured to have her Majesty the Queen and The Duke Of Edinburgh view Nimrod XV244 this week.
“Just before the royal couple left on there 67th wedding anniversary they came to view the last remaining Nimrod in Scotland, which is now named after the Duke Of Edinburgh.
“Lt Col Grenville Johnston from the outset has been a great ambassador for Moray and has assisted many projects and people. It was then a great delight to the Group, which is made up of volunteers, that the Royal Couple would visit XV244.
“The naming of the Nimrod was down to the hard work of Grenville liaising with Buckingham Palace. Andrew Hay from Flying Art came up with three designs which were sent to Buckingham Palace for approval and one was chosen.
“It was also then a tribute for Moravia to have Grenville formally name the aircraft.”
The Royal couple were presented with two gifts from Morayvia, one a special picture designed by Andy Hay of Flying Art and the second a slate designed by Moravia’s Mark Mair.
During the visit Moravia presented the Lord Lieutenant with a picture of XV244 with Stan Barbour and Mark Mair thanking him for his help and support.