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Restoration

There had been some public flying during World War One. In 1919, however, a full season of display flying was held. Many famous pilots attended including the French ace Nungesser. In June 1919 the Victory Aerial Derby was held, rekindling memories of the pre-war air races.

Military activity declined drastically in peacetime. The Royal Air Force, who now controlled the airfield, flew officials to Paris for the Versailles Peace Conference. Although there was little military activity the Government refused to return the airfield to Grahame-White.

In 1922, the Government took possession of Hendon without warning and closed the factory which had survived by making cars. In 1925 compensation was agreed and ownership of Hendon passed to the RAF. At the time the only users of the airfield were the London Flying Club and the Skywriting Corporation.

In 1920 the RAF Pageant was held at Hendon. It was the first of many held here during the twenties and thirties. For most people it was their only chance to see the skills of RAF pilots. People could compare modern aircraft with those of World War I and see the latest developments in the "New Types" Park. Hundreds of thousands of people visited the displays. In 1938 and 1939 the displays were titled the Empire Air Day, one of several held across Britain.