The Secret Spitfires
The 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 is out
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, Wiltshire; sheds, workshops, garages, bus depots and a local hotel 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 worked in secret to build over 2000 Spitfires in Salisbury and more elsewhere around the southern counties, an achievement that was instrumental in winning the Battle of Britain.
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, a small market town in the south of England become a major centre for manufacturing Spitfires, hidden in sheds, garages, back gardens, a bus depot and a hotel. With a workforce mainly made up of unskilled young girls, boys, women and a handful of engineers, over 2000 Spitfires were built, 10% of the total build, becoming instrumental in winning the war.
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, and we hear from modern-day fighter pilots 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 factory to the numerous factory sites in the Salisbury 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.
As part of extra footage in the ‘Special Edition DVD’, 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. An important visitor comes to the factory, the famous ATA girl Mary Ellis, to be reunited with one of the Spitfires she delivered during the war. Mary and other famous ATA girl Joy Lofthouse tell us their stories.
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
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...
As 2018 ended we wanted to let our friends know of all the amazing people we have now lost who told us their incredible stories for our Secret Spitfires film. We had recently posted the sad news of our Bette who passed away just before Christmas and today had the sad...
Our wonderful heroine secret factory worker Bette passed away early this morning. She was a perfect speaker for all those workers who gave so much for our freedoms. Many will remember her from our film where she had audiences in such laughter and many tears with her...
Have the best Christmas ever and go forward to the New Year with happiness and joy 😊 It has been an amazing journey for all of us and we thank all who have kindly supported us in so many ways. Let's not let our heritage be lost.
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.
If you want to screen The Secret Spitfires and you are a member of a media company (cinema owner, TV station, etc.) or a member of an organisation (charities, non-profit organisations, commercial companies, etc.) please use the form on this page.