A campaign to raise funds for a new Spitfire memorial in Salisbury, Wiltshire, was launched in the city’s cathedral on 15 October.
The Secret Spitfire charity, the group behind the project and creators of a 2016 film of the same name, say Wiltshire Council has approved the plans for the monument, so hopes are high it will be built and installed in time for next year’s 80th anniversary of the Battle of Britain.
Following the bombing of Southampton’s Spitfire production factories, more than 2,000 of Britain’s iconic fighters were built in Salisbury in a covert scheme
The campaign is initially aiming to raise £100,000 in donations to fund the building and maintenance of a full-size fibreglass Spitfire, which will serve as a tribute to the hundreds of people of Salisbury who contributed to an astonishing part of the city’s history by building Spitfires. Following the bombing of Southampton’s Spitfire production factories, more than 2,000 of Britain’s iconic fighters (around 10% of the total made) were built in Salisbury in a covert scheme that operated out of locations across the city centre and up to Old Sarum, High Post and beyond at Chattis Hill.
Speaking on behalf of the charity, Chris Whalley said: “After months of planning, we are delighted to have received approval for the memorial, which will commemorate the vital contribution Salisbury made to winning the Second World War. It will be an impactful addition to the city’s landscape and celebrate our Spitfire heritage for many, many, years to come. Now, to raise the money!”
Salisbury’s Norman Parker, the film’s historian and Spitfire engineer during the war, who starred in Secret Spitfires, said: “It gives me so much pleasure to see how the story of the secret Spitfires has spread and garnered such support since the release of the film. The memorial will be the latest chapter in an incredible tale.
“The people of Salisbury should be very proud of the contribution their city made to winning the Second World War.” ∎
Those wishing to donate or wanting more information should go to www.secretspitfiresmemorial.org.uk