REFURBISHMENT work is being carried out on Southend’s legendary Vulcan bomber to ensure it continues to be in good working order for the new year.

On Saturday, volunteers of the Vulcan Restoration Trust, who have been looking after the XL426 bomber since 1993, were removing parts for inspections and cleaning.

This included the airbrake panels to have new chains fitted onto them, engine bay heat shields taken out and the rapid start bottles being sent for hydrostatic testing and the canopy being hoisted for access and rectification work.

It comes as 2023 saw a whole range of events that put the retired Royal Air Force (RAF) jet through its paces, including taxi-runs to mark the 80th anniversary of the Dam Buster’s Second World War raid on May 20 and the annual summer event on September 16.

On January 6, January 20, February 3, February 17, March 2 and March 16, 2024, the trust is holding VIP visit where aviation fans will see the Vulcan in bits for winter servicing and pose for “great” photo opportunities.

The aircraft entered service with the RAF on September 13, 1962, in 83 squadron – which was active from 1917 until 1969 and operated during the First and Second World Wars.

It also took part in the Falklands victory flypast over London on October 12, 1982.

It retired in 1984.

After 25 years of service with the RAF, the bomber was flown to Southend Airport in 1986 to be preserved as part of the UK’s aviation heritage.