Make a date with history of flight

Fast lane: A Sepecat Jaguar takes off from the newly built M55, giving aircraft enthusiasts a thrill in April 1975
Fast lane: A Sepecat Jaguar takes off from the newly built M55, giving aircraft enthusiasts a thrill in April 1975
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A Fylde coast firm is producing a charity calendar which offers a fascinating peep into the past of the area’s aircraft making history.

The long-standing family run firm Munro Print and Copy Shop has printed the calendars in aid of the RAF Benevolent Fund.

They put it together with the help of BAE Systems’ archives team who supplied the fascinating photographs.

Owner Steve Ashton said they had been talking to friend and BAE archivist David Hutton and decided to put the photographs together to help the charity.

He said: “We have always produced calendars but this year we were lucky to get access to these pictures, thanks to David.

“They go as far back as the last war and show the history of the company’s aircraft making.

“There are some rare images which have not often been seen before.

“We have a superb one of the famous incident when a Jaguar aircraft landed on the M55 to test if they could land planes on roads during wartime.

“It shows the aircraft in flight and the people watching. One man is turning his head away from the blast of the engines.

“We have also got pictures of the workshops where they produced Halifax bombers for the Second World War.

“There’s even one of the flak damage caused after the Halifax has returned from a bombing raid over Germany.”

The family firm was based at Butts Close, Thornton, but six weeks ago opened its new premises on St George’s Lane, Cleveleys.

Steve said they wanted to be closer to the community and offer printing and photocopying services for local people as there was no similar service in the area.

He said: “We want to be a part of the community and were a bit out on a limb at Thornton.

“We support the community and local charities such as the British Legion Poppy Appeal, St Andrew’s Church and Donna’s Dream House.

“We wanted to do the calendar for the RAF fund because of the photographs’ links to the air force, so £2 from every calendar will go to the RAF Benevolent Fund.”

Ian Lawrenson, heritage manager for BAE Systems Warton site, said: “We are proud of our heritage in Lancashire where a huge number of pioneering achievements in the field of aviation have taken place and continue to take place today.

“The Heritage Department at our Warton site is staffed by many former employees and volunteers who work to ensure we maintain the extensive archive.

“We believe our proud past deserves to be remembered as it provides the foundation upon which our present and future business is built upon.

“It is great to see some fantastic images from our archive being used in this way as this will not only show the great achievements of BAE Systems’ employees past and present, but also raise money for a worthwhile cause.”