A thousand heads turned as the spine-tingling growl came from somewhere beyond
A thousand heads turned as the spine-tingling growl came from somewhere beyond the horizon. And slowly, a distant speck grew into a silhouette against the sky, a wartime symbol still unmistakable 50 years on. The worlds most famous and most elegant war plane was patrolling Coventry skies. But this time, the Spitfire was flying in peace.
In a special run over the bombed ruins of the cathedral, the veteran aircraft signalled the start of two months of events geared to remembering the night the city burned.
The fly-past also marked the launch of two books specially published to commemorate the Blitz. The Spitfire, a Vickers- Supermarine Mk14 which took part in raids over Germany in February 1945, was flown by city born and bred Andy Sephton, a former pupil at Coventryis Bablake school. A former Jaguar flying instructor with the RAF, he now works as a test pilot for Rolls Royce, Bristol, the owners of the Spitfire.
Andy, aged 40, met up at Coventry airport with his mother and father, Jean and Frank, who live in Mill Hill, Baginton. He said: " Flying a Spitfire was a life-long ambition of
mine and its a rare privilege. " It is so evocative and the handling qualities are excellent, better than a lot of modern machines. " For many of the 200- strong crowd gathered in the cathedral ruins the drone of the Merlin engine and the sight of it flying past brought memories flooding back. Gwen Smith, aged 68, was living in St Georges Road, Lower Stoke, and working in the central fire station in Hales Street on November 14 1940. She said: " I thought it was very moving. it brought back lots of memories.
13th September 1990
We are proud to offer this print from Mirrorpix in collaboration with Memory Lane Prints
Media ID 21629365
Battle Of Britain
Royal Air Force
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