Replica Spitfire to land in Durham for Remembrance Day
A full-size replica Spitfire will take a central role in this weekend’s Remembrance Day commemorations in Durham City.
The plane will be located in the Market Place on Sunday 11 November, providing a backdrop for the annual military parade through the city.
The hand-built replica, the only full-scale reproduction Spitfire MKIX currently in existence, will offer a reminder of the 100th anniversary of the birth of the Royal Air Force in 1918 and its connections to Durham.
It will be sited in the Market Place from 9am until 4pm, with the parade due to pass between 11.30am and 11.45am.
The Spitfire’s visit has been arranged by Durham County Council.
Cllr Ossie Johnson, Cabinet member for tourism, culture, leisure and rural issues, said: “This year’s Remembrance Sunday commemorations will be especially poignant as we will also be marking the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War and the centenary of the formation of the RAF.
“It is a privilege to be able to play our part in this weekend’s memorial events.”
The replica Spitfire took more than 20 years to build and incorporates many genuine Spitfire parts including instruments.
The Spitfire’s links to Durham date back to the 1940s, when No. 607 (County Durham) Squadron, Royal Auxiliary Air Force were deployed to India equipped with Spitfires to fight the Japanese in order to regain Burma.
The squadron, which was formed in 1930 at the then new airfield of RAF Usworth had also fought with distinction during the Battle of Britain.
No. 607 (County Durham) Squadron was awarded the Freedom of Durham City last year.
Parades, services and events will be taking place around the county this weekend to mark Remembrance Day and to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War.
The county council is also supporting the Lord Lieutenant of County Durham, Sue Snowdon, in calling on individuals and groups to participate in a national mass ringing of bells at 12.30pm this Sunday.
The event is intended as a way of giving thanks for the end of the First World War and replicate the national outpouring of grief that took place at the end of the conflict as news of the armistice filtered through and bells which had long been silent rang out.
A list of Remembrance Day parades, services and events around County Durham is available at www.durham.gov.uk/armistice100.