Posted on Facebook by Alan Matlock – 5th June 2022
Spitfire Makers salutes Her Majesty!
70 years reigning over us… and always a smile when a Spitfire or six fly down The Mall and over the Palace.
Not sure of the validity of this photo of the Queen at the controls of a Presentation Spitfire named NINJ(???) It can be found online here: https://www.dailysquib.co.uk/…/25542-queen-celebrates… but the report to go with it is clearly a spoof!
What we do know is that in the dark days of WWII the Spitfire was flown by pilots from many Commonwealth (Empire) countries and others. The Nations of the Few image is from: https://www.spitfireheritagedistillers.com/…/nations-of…
When Princess Elizabeth turned 18 in 1944, she insisted upon joining the Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS), the women’s branch of the British Army. King George made sure that his daughter was not given a special rank in the Army. She started as a second subaltern in the ATS and was later promoted to Junior Commander, the equivalent of Captain.
We salute Her Majesty and all those who played their part when freedom was under threat.
And, we pay tribute again to those countless Many Spitfire Makers in the Front Line of the Factories who enabled The Few to take the Spitfire into the skies.
We will remember them.
Posted on Facebook by Robert Stidworthy – 27th June 2022
Second Spitfire Makers plaque unveiled where fuselages were made on the first floor of a Southampton garage
The plaque was unveiled by Edna Penney, whose husband Ray worked in Seward’s Garage on Winchester Road (where The Range is now), and Bob Petch who worked in the building when it was taken over by Southern Gas from the early 60s.
Seward’s was requisitioned by Supermarine in the summer of 1940, even before the main factories were bombed.
A Spitfire Makers plaque, on the side wall of the premises of Christopher Carter’s VETS practice, now marks the site which helped continue Spitfire production in Southampton.
The photos show Edna and Bob, who generously funded the plaque, the wartime view from the end of Wilton Road, and the fuselages being made.
The unveiling was also attended by Chris Carter and staff at his practice, former Southern Gas employees and several members of the Spitfire Makers team who invited guests back to the Parklife Café in nearby St James’ Park for refreshments.
At the café, Edna Penney, who lost her husband Ray recently, described her wartime work as a member of the Women’s Land Army, on a farm near Milford on Sea.
Research by Spitfire Makers has found others who worked in the garage included teenager Florence (Flossie) Lee who lived further down Winchester Road at no. 50 and Gwendoline (Gwen) Kitchener, whose husband Ray was in the RAF. Do you know of any others? Please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Have a look at www.spitfiremakers.org.uk for further info on our project to place plaques at all the Spitfire production sites around Southampton and beyond.
Photos: Vicki Stacey, Robert Stidworthy and Vickers Archive