Where I live, in Leigh-on-Sea, there is a small flight runway called Southend Airport. There are many planes stationed there including a Vulcan bomber. Every last Sunday and following bank holiday Monday of May month, we have a two day air display. It is a fun time and the roads along the Southend-on-Sea seafront are closed off for the visitors and various stalls concerning the air display.
Usually, a few days before hand, some of the old planes are flying over head on test flights. I always delight in this because I often see, over the years, a Hawker Hurricane, a German ME 109 and our glorious Spitfire.
|The Holy Spitfire: Our Lady of the Skies|
My Dad told me that when he was a kid he would look up into the sky and watch the dogfights. His house, where he now lives, was bought from my Grandfather and was built in 1952 by the old gates to Hornchurch airfield. When I was a kid I played on the abandoned and overgrown area of what had once been Hornchurch airfield - a major Spitfire and Hawker Hurricane base during the Battle of Britain.
The grand aeroplane is so wonderfully retro Brit and I can't think why it has taken so long into the blog collection to finally mention this dream baby. We Brits do, after all, owe so much to the dream machine.
|Hawker Hurricane (Workhorse)|
The Battle of Britain was a very desperate time for the United Kingdom. She had seen her land forces from the UK and Commonwealth almost driven into the sea by the advancing German army. The demoralized nation had seen its major neighbouring ally, France, fall before the Nazi Blizkrieg.
Britain needed time to recoup and Germany needed to push home her advantage by destroying British air power before launching an invasion. The Royal Navy was still formidable, but there were doubts about how the air force might perform. It was generally regarded as being under strengh and under maned to take on the German Luftwaffe.
|Spitfire defending the shores of the UK|
|Intercepting the Luftwaffe during the Battle of Britain|
|RJ Mitchell left us his legacy before passing away in 1937 aged 42.|