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Armed Forces Day 29 June 2019

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Red Arrows (top)




With all footpaths up to Old Sarum closed because of the afternoon's Air Show, one vantage point to see the Red Arrows fly over Salisbury at 10:00 hrs was Gradidge Lane, from where this image was taken. (The building on the right is Stratford sub Castle Primary School.)

There were two flypasts: after the second one the Red Arrows turned north-westerly and appeared to follow the course of the river before disappearing up the Woodford Valley with a deep roar. Taken by surprise by this manoeuvre, we don't have a second image but the bright-red metalwork of the Hawk fast-jets as they flew over Stratford sub Castle, was memorable. (A library photo would be cheating!)

Image: Bob Winson

Spitfires (1).jpg
Spifire anchor

Two of The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight six airworthy Spitfires, Mk Vb AB910 (built 1941, flew 143 operation missions including over D Day beaches) in all four photos and Mk LF IXe MK356 (built 1944, 60 operational missions including downing a Messerschmitt 109 on D day + 1) in two of the photos, flew over the village on Armed Forces Day June 2019.


Of over 22,000 Spitfires, about one tenth were built, in secret, in and around Salisbury after the factories on the Itchen at Southampton were bombed out in 1940. Sites included Highpost, the Janspeed factory on Castle Road* the Wilts and Dorset Bus Garage on Castle Street and a garage where Warner House now stands opposite the bus garage (and bears a Blue Plaque to the Spitfire factory).

*  A full-size fibreglass replica Spitfire was unveiled on 9 July 2021, close to the Janspeed site. More details

Plane details from The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight. Salisbury details are from .  A book and longer feature film are planned.


Photos by Paul Derwent.
Compiler Kerry O’Connor


Blue Plaque Secret Spitfires (1).jpg
Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Avro L

The Avro Lancaster B1 PA474 was completed on 31 May 1945. Having missed the war in Europe by a few weeks, it was prepared for use against the Japanese in the Far East, but the war ended before it was deployed. PA474 therefore never had to fly wartime missions, but it is representative of the many Lancasters that did, including the 3,249 that were lost in action. PA474 joined the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight in1973. On its port side it displays its 460 Sqn RAAF code letters AR-L and kangaroo nose art, on its starboard side the 50 Sqn code VN-T and City of Lincoln coat of arms. It flew over the village on Armed Forces Day June 2019.


7,377 Lancasters were built, only two are now airworthy.


Text, the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight

Photos Paul Derwent,
Collage Kerry O’Connor


This webpage was updated on 10 July 2021

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