THOUSANDS of flying enthusiasts gathered in Oxfordshire today for the Abingdon Air and Country Show, to see the last live displays at the popular event.

A host of amazing performances were on offer to those gathered at the town’s air field, at Dalton Barracks, alongside other attractions.

Nearly 10,000 people are thought to have attended the event, which is now entering its 20th year.

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Organiser Neil Porter said there were 16 flying displays and 58 visiting airplanes.

He added: “It’s a great turnout. We started from nothing and now we get an average of 8,500 – 9,000 people.

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“Today has been a very good day, lots of people here enjoying themselves.

“Next year there will be changes to the show, due to funding. There will be no flying displays but… there will still be a lot of action.”

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Mr Porter said the Muscle Pitts biplane with the Audi RS8 was one of the highlights, as well as a P47 Thunderbolt.

The show, run entirely by volunteers, began in 2000 as a local fete organised by Mr Porter, a landscape gardener by trade, who says he wanted to 'put something back into the community and to provide a family day out at an affordable price.'

It has steadily grown into one of the area’s largest annual events and established itself as a highlight on the airshow calendar.

Today's event involved a fly past of more than 50 aircraft, displays by Spitfire and Hurricane planes and a Renegade Parachute team.

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RAF Hercules and hot air balloons were available as static displays while numerous non-flying related stalls and activities were also available.

The Abingdon Concert Band and traditional morris dancers performed, while children were able to enjoy a number of animal attractions – including the Wallingford Dog Agility team – classic vehicles and a Williams F1 car.

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Dave Withey, who travelled down with wife Kim and their two kids, aged three and one, from Northamptonshire for the show.

He said: "It's cracking, this is the third show (we have been to) and this is as good as it has been in the past.

"It's not too busy, it's a nice little airshow and its not to noisy for the kids.

Husband and wife Martin and Barbara Higgs, both 64, travelled from Marlow in Buckinghamshire to the shows.

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Mr Higgs explained: "My wife saw it advertised and I came once to it some years back - it sounded nice.

"I like airplanes so its just a combination and with the country show.

"The display by the (Muscle Pitts) plane... it shouldn't have been possible."

The performance involved pilot Rich Goodwin flying side on with steam billowing behind, just above a car on the runway.

Mrs Higgs added: "We would come back up. We have been to the air display in Jersey and we can see better here."