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Spitfire stirs memories with flypast

Residents in Marston Green were treated to the iconic sight of a Spitfire performing a flypast on Wednesday.

Birmingham Airport
Birmingham Airport

Residents in Marston Green were treated to the iconic sight of a Spitfire performing a flypast on Wednesday.

The much-loved aeroplane flew over Birmingham Airport at around 7.40pm following a ten- minute display at the Belfry Golf Club.

Built in Castle Bromwich, the famous plane played a pivotal part in the Second World War.

The flight came on the same date that Winston Churchill made his famous ‘This was their finest hour’ speech.

The wartime Prime Minister addressed the House of Commons in 1940 and spoke of the approaching Battle of Britain, in which the Spitfire played such a crucial part.

By 1938, the looming threat of war demanded radical action and it was decided to build a huge factory for Spitfire production at Castle Bromwich.

Lord Nuffield, the founder of Morris cars, was put in charge but despite his experience of motorcar production, the complexity of the Spitfire came as a surprise and the project ran into trouble.

Lord Beaverbrook, then Minister for Aircraft Production, handed Castle Bromwich to the Vickers company, which promptly reorganised the management and brought in Supermarine engineers to kick-start production.

Many wartime records were lost or destroyed.

But it is estimated that 11,780 Spitfires were made in Castle Bromwich, nearly half of all those built.

At Castle Bromwich, the workforce rose to 15,854 by 1943.

Working round the clock, they produced almost half the Spitfires ever made: it was the only British fighter in continuous production throughout the war.

n Tell us about your memories of the Spitfire. Did a member of your family work at the Castle Bromwich factory? Email cathrina.hulsetrinitymirror.com.

 

Journalists

Cathrina Hulse
Multimedia Journalist
Annette Belcher
Multimedia Journalist
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