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Bellway names housing development after Second World War hero bomber pilot

Bellway has named a new development in honour of a Second World War hero pilot who crashed landed in the village after a daring bombing raid over Germany.

Barton Meadows in Ryhope, near Sunderland, has been named after Cyril Barton, VC, who bravely steered his stricken Halifax bomber away from houses and pit-head workings in the village to crash in a field on 30 March 1944.

Earlier in the night, Flying Officer Barton, VC, had continued to fly to Nuremberg to drop his bombs despite having two fuel tanks punctured by Luftwaffe night-fighters on the way to the target. It was while trying to get back to base in North Yorkshire that his fuel ran out and he was forced to crash land the stricken aircraft in Ryhope.

Cyril Barton, VC, died on the way to hospital but the other three crew members left on board survived the impact. Cyril was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross for his bravery.

In memory of Flying Officer Barton’s heroic sacrifice, Bellway are set to name the new development of 60 new homes on an 11.9-acre site, north of Burdon Lane in Ryhope, after him, the plans for which are set to be approved.

Oliver Wray, Sales Manager for Bellway Durham, said: “After we discovered the story of the incredible bravery of Cyril Barton, VC, we were honoured to be able to name our development after him. The crash landing of the Halifax bomber and the actions of the pilot to avoid the houses and pit-head workings is the stuff of local legend – and rightly so.

“This amazing tale of skill and courage is well-known to one of our colleagues, Hannah Storey, a digital marketing coordinator based at our group office in Newcastle. Hannah’s family is from Ryhope and her grandfather lived in the village at the time of the crash-landing. She said her grandfather told her the story when she was a little girl and she had often seen the memorial to Cyril Barton, VC, which stands in the village.

“Bellway has its roots in the North East and we are proud of our history. As a responsible developer, we not only build high-quality houses but connect with the communities in which we deliver new neighbourhoods.”

Barton Meadows is part of a wider project which forms part of the South Sunderland Growth Area where approximately 1,000 homes are being built across the wider site.

Bellway’s development will be delivered alongside the completion of the Ryhope Doxford Link Road, a £9 million scheme connecting the B1286 in the west to the A1018 in the east. 

Bellway Durham is delivering new homes across the region in Teesside and County Durham.

For more information about the properties being built by Bellway Durham, visit