GATES from the former RAF Hereford base have been officially commissioned for their new role - standing guard over Aylestone Park.

Looking on as Air Vice Marshall Mike Smart welcomed the two-tonne gates to their new home was Doreen Charman, who had suggested the gates be refurbished and placed at the park after she heard they were "rusting away" at Bodenham Lakes.

"My friend who walks up there told me about them," said Doreen, from Green Lanes, Hereford, whose late husband Patrick drove through the gates everyday on his way to work as the camps estate warden.

"I got in touch with Councillor John Newman who said he would bring the matter up at the next council meeting and I suggested to him that they go up at the new Aylestone Park.

"I think they look really nice in their new home and it's great to have them standing proud again."

Also looking on was Eastnor blacksmith Andrew Findlay, who restored the gates.

"It was a tough job," said Andrew. "When we got the gates they were corroded with rust and one had been bent out of shape after it was hit by a truck."

After months of work Andrew, who says the outer frames are around 200 years old, converted them to permanent railings. He even re-designed the inner ironwork to signify rotating aircraft propellers. "It was a lot of hard work but very satisfying to see them up and in place," he said.