|Wigan remembers the Battle of Britain
The replica that will be coming to Wigan.
It once protected Great Britain from the sky and now the Spitfire is swooping into Wigan to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Britain.
A replica of the legendary fighter plane will ‘touch-down’ on Market Place in the town centre on Wednesday September 22 as part of a special commemoration event organised by the Wigan branch of the National Service Royal Air Force Association, the Leigh branch of the Royal Air Force Association and Wigan Council’s Economic Regeneration Office.
The plane, a replica of the 611 Squadron Spitfire, will be outside The Moon Under Water pub between 10am and 3.30pm.
John Magee, who represents both of the ex-service personnel groups, says: “What an exciting project to be involved with! This is a perfect opportunity to explain to people how this most famous of fighter aircraft works and how it helped to keep our shores safe during one of the most significant battles of the war.
“It has taken a lot of hard work to get this replica to Wigan so I would urge everyone to come along and see it.”
An RAF five piece woodwind band will play a selection of traditional RAF tunes from 10:30am at Wigan Parish Church, followed by a church service for people of all denominations. The church service will begin at 11am and will be led by Rev. Ray Hutchinson, the Rector of Wigan, with an address being given by Father Kevin Foulkes from Our Lady’s RC Church at Haigh. The service will be similar to one being held at Westminster Abbey on Sunday.
Mayor of Wigan, Cllr Michael Winstanley, who will also be attending, says “It is important to remember the battle of Britain and remember the brave pilots who risked their lives to keep all Britons free from German occupation. The mayoress and I will be proud to take our place amongst the congregation.
“The centrepiece to it all will be the one of the most amazing and beautiful aircraft this country has ever produced. The Spitfire epitomises the spirit of our country’s grit and determination in the face of adversity. It is a symbol of how good can always prevail even in the face of overwhelming odds.
“I would like to thank everyone who has made this special commemoration event possible.”