FOUR hundred West Oxfordshire residents were invited to RAF Brize Norton to get to know the Concorde in May 1977.

British Airways asked parish councils within a five-mile radius of the base to invite residents and interested groups to take a stroll through the supersonic aircraft.

Visitors were also given the opportunity to discuss the aeroplane, watch a film about its development and achievements and question crew and officials.

While guests at the special 'get-to-know the Concorde' event were not able to take a flight in the plane, the Witney Gazette was on board when Concorde BA300 left Heathrow for the 3,600 miles to Bahrain in the Gulf at 1,350 miles per hour (pictured).

On April 10, 2003, Air France and British Airways simultaneously announced they would retire Concorde later that year – the beginning of the end for the supersonic plane.

They cited low passenger numbers following the a crash in 2,000, a slump in air travel following the September 11 attacks and rising maintenance costs.