Havering residents mark 75th anniversary of first flight of spitfire

MORE than 400 people turned out for a special event to mark the 75th anniversary of the first flight of the Spitfire.

The event, which was organised by Hornchurch historian Richard Smith was held at the Purfleet Heritage and Military Centre in Centurion Way, Off Tank Hill Road on Sunday March 6.

Richard said: “Its was a very good day and it is important that we remember the first flight of the spitfire because if it was not developed in time then we would have lost the war and we would not have been able to compete with the Germans.”

The event saw the official opening of a exhibition showing archive photographs telling the story of R.J. Mitchell, who designed the spitfire.

Visitors were also able to see the photographs of the work carried out by the men and women in the production factories making and repairing the spitfire, plus spitfire artefacts.

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Richard said: “It is really important that we mark this anniversary because in years to come the people that helped to play an important part in the history of the spitfire would have all gone so its important that we preserve it for future generations.”

The first test flight of the spitfire took place in 1936, before The Air Ministry and RAF ordered 300 spitfires to be built.

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