March 2021

4th March 2021 – Alan Matlock on Facebook

Spitfire 85

Commemorating the Anniversary of the First Flight of the Type 300, Spitfire Prototype on 5th March 1936.

Lecture by Paul Beaver to remember the first flight of the Type 300, the Spitfire’s prototype. In a change from the usual Monday, Paul will be speaking on Friday, 5th March to coincide with the actual anniversary of the first flight at nearby Eastleigh.

Join Paul at 7pm on Friday 5th March to hear more. The lecture will be followed by a live Q&A.

4th March 2021 – Alan Matlock on Facebook

Happy Birthday Spitfire – and all Spitfire Makers

When “The Fighter” became “The Spitfire”

On the 85th anniversary of the first flight of the Spitfire prototype, here’s what Harry Griffiths, the last surviving member of the 1936 Supermarine design department said, in 2006, in an exclusive feature for “Aeroplane” magazine.

“An area at the top of the wing shop was curtained off and, of course, we lads were curious. One lunchtime Dennis and I went and took a quick peep and saw the mock-up of a new fighter to replace the F.7/30 inverted-gull-winged aircraft which had been built shortly before to Air Ministry requirements. Mitchell was never happy with the F.7/30 concept, and had embarked on a design to his own ideas. In the normal course of drawing-office procedure this new design was designated Type 300, and was known in the works simply as “The Fighter”.

Ultimately it was ready for its first engine run and was lashed down on the quay outside my lab window, so I went outside to watch. There were a small collection of people including the works manager, the AID inspector and the chief draughtsman. Mitchell was not there. “The Rolls-Royce mechanic climbed into the cockpit and pressed the starter, the prop turned, the engine coughed, and spurts of flame came from the exhaust stubs. Then there was silence, during which I heard one of the assembled ‘brass’ mention the word SPITFIRE, the first time that I heard the name.

”The Spitfire Makers Charitable Trust was just one year old on Tuesday last week. When Covid restrictions are over we can all have a slice of that cake – team member Sarah says she’ll make another one!

17th March 2021 – Alan Matlock on Facebook

Posted by Rob Byrne yesterday and shared here with our thanks. ****************************************************

Our area is rich in WW2 history and nothing is as evocative as The Spitfire. There are two great local organisations that seek to record the people and places involved in its production.

If you have relatives that worked in it’s production I’m sure they’d like to hear from you. They are The Spitfire Makers (the page you are on now!) and The Supermariners (This link is a tribute to my dad.)”…/byrne-bernard/

Our previous tribute to Rob’s 97 year father ‘Bernie’ was posted on February 17th, the day of his funeral.

We do have a few original Spitfire Makers still with us and sharing their stories but, as Rob says, if you have relatives who worked on the plane in any way please do get in touch.

20th March 2021 – Alan Matlock on Facebook

Time for take off!

As you can see, and hear! (click the link below!) our Patron Sqn Ldr Mandy Singleton and her team at the BBMF have been busy getting their six Spitfires through their winter maintenance schedule.

Like them, Spitfire Makers is looking forward to the end of restrictions and ‘getting airborne’ once again!

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