Spitfire battle cry

John Coombes with the Lytham St Annes Spitfire.

John Coombes with the Lytham St Annes Spitfire.

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A PLEA for help has been issued to help finish the Spitfire project at Fairhaven Lake.

The replica Second World War aircraft was put on display in August.

Despite the first phase of the project being completed, £4,500 is still needed to finish the scheme.

The money will be used to create a memorial plaque, railings, an interactive information screen and a living ‘roll of honour’ containing the names of coastal command, bomber and fighter aircrews.

Chairman of the Lytham St Annes Spitfire Display Team John Coombes said: “Although so many have contributed already, we are looking at around £4,500 to complete the second phase of the project.

“We ended up spending £8,000 on foundations for the column beneath the Spitfire, which was a cost we hadn’t envisaged. Fairhaven Lake is a great location, but with it being close to the beach, sandy conditions mean we must make sure firm groundings are in place and as a result it has taken a bit longer than anticipated to raise the money, meaning we are short.”

A three-year fund-
raising campaign by the team had originally helped raise £40,000 to build the memorial, to Sgt Alan Lever-Ridings, who was killed off the 
Devon coast in an aircraft paid for by the residents of Lytham and St Annes who raised £6,500 to buy the Spitfire W3644.

Mr Coombes said plans were in place to improve the site, with stunning garden displays set to add to the lakeside memorial.

He added: “As for further plans for the area, we hope to put in place some flower beds and wrought iron benches, which will really add to it.

“Through help from the Princes Trust, we hope to lay a bed in the shape of a Hurricane, as well as a full-sized topiary of an aircraft.

“Many people come down to the site already to see the plane – we really feel these plans could give the lake a big boost if completed.”

For ways to donate to the scheme, visit the website www.w3644.com