VISITORS at a fruit farm received a pleasant surprise when a plane dropped a streamer asking for “more jam”.

A BE2e aircraft, which took off from Stow Maries Aerodrome, approached a field near the Open Farm Sunday at Wilkin & Sons’ farm in Tiptree. The streamer request replicated a regular act which took place between the two sites during the First World War.

Stow Maries Great War Aerodrome, the WWI Aviation Heritage Trust and Tiptree farms worked to recreate a message which requested jam for the Airman’s Mess - an area where military personnel socialise.

The streamer also contained messages from Lord Lieutenant of Essex Jennifer Tolhurst, historian and broadcaster Dan Snow MBE and Lieutenant Colonel Steve Caldwell, Commander of Colchester Garrison.

Chairman of the WWI Aviation Heritage Trust, Dick Forsythe, read a letter from Lieutenant Colin Milburn, a young pilot who thanked Wilkin & Sons for jam in a letter dated January 6, 1918.

Mr Forsythe said: “It’s a great pleasure to be part of this event and as a charity our role is to keep the heritage of World War One alive for future generations.”

The messages in the streamer were about preserving the peace.

Dan Snow’s message said: “We live, like our predecessors, in interesting times.

“It is only by looking to our brave forebears and learning from them, that we can truly hope to not repeat the mistakes that have led to war before.

“Let us be thankful to all those around the globe, of every creed and colour, that dedicate themselves to preserving the peace.”

Special guests and visitors alike enjoyed the display.

Mrs Tolhurst said: “As well as (being) patron of Stow Maries Great War Aerodrome, I’m very excited to see this historic flight being recreated.

“Open Farm Sunday is a great event, and as both aviation and farming play such a large role in Essex life, it’s a great way to celebrate our county culture – both today and in history.”

Open Farm Sunday is an event including farm tours on tractor and trailer and vintage buses, talks and show pieces from local businesses.