The aviation museum at Blackpool Airport is set to get a visit from a Mark Vb Spitfire painted in the colours of one of the Polish squadrons which fought against the Nazi forces in the skies over Britain.
And Polish Heritage Flight’s Spitfire BM597 will fly over Fairhaven Lake in an aerial tribute on the June 23 at 6.30pm to mark the 80th anniversary of the loss of the Lytham St Annes Spitfire and her Pilot Sgt Alan Lever-Ridings. The lake has a replica aircraft monument and the event is open to the public.
The Spitfire will arrive on June 12 at Blackpool Airport as the guest of the Spitfire Visitor Centre museum in Hangar 42 at the west end of the airfield until the end of August.
The team behind the museum and its replica aircraft are launching a £400,000 fund-raising drive to extend the museum near their hangar, as well as putting together a programme of events to mark Armed Forces Day, the Queen’s Jubilee and also the August Holiday period.
They are also continuing with the restoration of an Airspeed Oxford aircraft from the war period.
The museum’s John Coombes said: “We are encouraging members of the Public to join us for this Service of Remembrance on June 23.
"This year we are starting our fundraising efforts to build a new extension to the Spitfire Visitor Centre at Blackpool Airport, which will include new warbird hangarage, classrooms and engineering facilities for students and volunteers alike. This £400,000 scheme, currently in development, will create new jobs and a inspirational new Heritage Site for Visitors to the Fylde Coast.”
The museum is running a school visit programme, with the help of a Heritage Lottery Fund Grant, where volunteers give pupils a tour of the exhibits, including replica Spitfires and a Hurricane, as well as offer details about the history of the war to compliment children’s curriculum lessons.
John added: "More than 580 children from across the Fylde Coast have visited the Spitfire’s at Blackpool Airport in the past six months, as a result of the funding.