MORE THAN 100 volunteers have been commended for their work transforming an historic aerodrome.

The 150 volunteers who helped see Stow Maries Great War Aerodrome through its transition from a “semi-derelict” First World War site into one of the biggest historic attractions in Essex received a Queen’s Award for Voluntary Services from Essex County Council.

Stow Maries was one of just nine Essex groups out of 281 charities, social enterprises, and volunteer-led groups to receive the prestigious award this year, across the UK.

The award is given to volunteer groups across the UK to recognise exceptional service within their communities.

The winners were announced on Sunday, June 2, the anniversary of the Queen’s coronation.

The aerodrome’s representatives were invited to a garden party at Buckingham Palace in May to celebrate the win.

The group will be officially presented with its award later on this summer.

Ian Flint, chief executive officer of Stow Maries, said: “We are an organisation that is proud to put its volunteers at the heart of every aspect of its endeavour.

“We are truly volunteer-led, from our board of trustees across to the estates team.

“This award is a wonderful celebration of their dedication and I am proud to be part of their team.”

Jennifer Tolhurst, Lord Lieutenant of Essex, will be awarding the winners with their awards later this year. She said that for so many groups in the area to receive the “prestigious” Queen’s Award for Voluntary Services is a “wonderful tribute to the outstanding work of the voluntary sector” in Essex.

Mrs Tolhurst said: “Only one other county in the UK had more winners than Essex, which speaks volumes for the excellence of volunteering in our county and the increasing importance of the work of volunteers for community wellbeing.

“I am delighted that nine extremely deserving groups, who are providing a wide range of services to our communities have been honoured by Her Majesty the Queen.

“I look forward to presenting the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Services to each of the groups over the coming months.

“I also look forward to being able to celebrate their success with their volunteers and the many who receive their excellent service.”