The Secret Spitfires
The unknown story of hundreds of women, girls and a handful of men who built Spitfires in secret during WW2
Spitfires were the nemesis of the Luftwaffe and the instrument which halted Hitler’s plans for invasion. After relentless bombing of the Spitfire factories in Southampton, the Germans were convinced they had halted the production of the Spitfires for good. However, the British had a secret plan…
The Director’s Cut DVD
The DVD contains the feature length documentary as seen in cinemas along with over 15 minutes of extra footage, a Special Booklet of all the secret Spitfire locations and subtitle facility is included.
In Salisbury, Trowbridge, Reading and back in Southampton; sheds, workshops, garages, bus depots, local hotel, even bedrooms were used to manufacture and then assemble complete Spitfires.
Norman Parker, now in his 90’s, was an engineer in the final assembly plant and today is a highly respected historian on the subject.
Mainly unqualified young girls and women along with elderly men, young boys and a handful of engineers worked in secret factories to build thousands of Spitfires during the war.
Witnesses tell the story of this amazing achievement
In 1940, the Germans destroyed the Spitfire factories in Southampton and believed they had ended the threat from their nemesis. But unknown to them, the British were building Spitfires in secret. Salisbury, Trowbridge, Reading and return of Southampton become the new major manufacturing centres for Spitfires hidden in sheds, garages, bus depots, a hotel, even bedrooms. Secret workforce, mainly made up of unskilled young girls, boys, women, elderly men and a handful of engineers, built almost half of 22,000 Spitfires, other half built at the shadow factory in Castle Bromwich. An achievement that was instrumental in winning the Battle of Britain.
Witnesses tell the story of this amazing achievement, recounting times of terrible sadness as well as joyous times that included GI dances, a Glenn Miller concert and a Joe Louis boxing match. Set against a backdrop of picturesque English countryside, we talk to 90 year old veterans who as teenagers built the aircraft in their local villages and towns, along with stories from famous ATA pilots Mary Ellis and Joy Lofthouse. Modern-day fighter pilots tell us their stories for whom the Spitfire holds a special place in history. This incredible story concludes with Dame Vera Lynn reciting a moving poem written by a Spitfire pilot.
Let’s not let our heritage be lost!
Central character in the film is Norman Parker, now in his 90’s, who as a young man was an engineer in the final assembly plant. He later became a respected historian, and a walking encyclopedia on the subject. Norman takes us from the original bombed sites of the Southampton factories to the numerous factory sites in Salisbury, Trowbridge and Reading area. We meet various workers, men and women who worked at the factories, describing how life was like working in secret without the faintest idea about the scope of the operation.
We are taken to a current day factory which builds, restores and maintains Spitfires in the traditional way. This factory is just like stepping back in history. Here we are shown the construction elements of the aircraft and taken through the building procedure. We are shown the difference between German and British manufacturing and what advantages each country had to make sure their aircraft was superior.
RAF Coningsby supplies the perspective of the Typhoon pilots who are the Spitfire pilots of today. We are taken to the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight centre where one of the largest collections of WW2 Spitfires, Hurricanes and Lancasters is kept and maintained. We see them working on the Spitfires. We speak to today’s pilots who love flying the Spitfires. They demonstrate the capabilities of the Spitfires, display a Typhoon flying with a Spitfire as well as one of the last flights of the Vulcan with Spitfires in tow.
The stories within the story
A special day in our history when the sacrifice of the whole nation along with allies defeated the enemy who surrendered in Europe 75 years ago. Thank you to that generation for all our freedoms and guidance they have given us.
At this time of disaster it is such a proud moment to see the whole nation come together to help each other. Just like the story of our film, young and old, teenage girls, boys, all stand up to the threat along with our forces, medical teams and volunteers from all...
A great news was released on 15th October that Secret Spitfires Memorial to honour all those workers who built Spitfires in secret in our city is going ahead. Thanks to the Salisbury Rugby Club who took on the task of making this happen has now formed a charity to...
Secret Spitfires film was recently invited to US Air Force D-Day 75th Anniversary celebrations at the amazing USAF Museum, Dayton Ohio, to represent the RAF Museum American Foundation. This has been a great honour for us to show this incredible story to a lovely...
As a tribute to D-Day 75, we have taken a small highlight from our film to show how people felt when they suddenly realised D-Day had started with skies covered in aeroplanes. We all owe so much to that generation for what they had to do....
Another one of the heroines of the Secret Spitfire factories, Joan Burrough, has sadly passed away. Many who have seen the film will remember her as the young girl who volunteered to work at Chattis Hill, which was the secret final assembly factory where Spitfires...
We would love to hear from you if you have stories to tell or know of someone who was part of the Secret Spitfires in Salisbury and surrounding areas during WW2.
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