Local firm celebrates Spitfire heritage

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IN MARCH, 1942, the people of Arbroath raised an incredible £5,000 to buy a Spitfire for the war effort.

Now, 70 years later, Arbroath based business Squadron Prints Ltd, is launching a tribute print of Arbroath’s Spitfire, pictured, along with other items of memorabilia!

Although not raising money to buy a Spitfire this time, they will be helping to raise funds for the RAF Benevolent Fund which continues to support Royal Air Force personnel whenever they are in need.

Squadron Prints Ltd is heavily involved in all aspects of aviation and aviation art and directors Gill Howie and Berry Vissers thought this would be an ideal way to commemorate this milestone. A total of 360 prints are available with a donation from the sale of each going to the RAF Benevolent Fund. Spitfire key fobs will be available soon but there are mugs, beer steins and framed prints available through the company’s website.

Gill Howie commented: “For many years, Brian Forsyth of the Arbroath Herald had asked us to do a print of the Arbroath Spitfire but it always seemed to be forgotten about. When we read about the anniversary in the Herald we thought this would be a good time to do it!”

All the commemorative items are available through the website at http://www.thearbroathspitfire.com

A committee headed by local businessman Harry Simpson has been set up to organise events to mark the 70th anniversary of the purchase of Arbroath’s Spitfire, ‘Red Lichtie’.

Councillor Donald Morrison, one of those behind the programme of celebration, said: “Squadron Prints is a local company with an excellent international reputation for quality prints and other products. Last year they produced a limited edition of Bell Rock Lighthouse keyrings during the Year of the Light.

“So I am delighted Squadron Prints have set up a website specifically about the Red Lichtie and will be producing prints, mugs and keyrings of Arbroath’s very own Spitfire as part of the 70th anniversary of the aircraft coming into service.”

He confirmed that a Celebration of Armed Forces parade is to take place through the centre of the town, starting from East Abbey Street down to Beacon Green, on Saturday, May 26

He concluded: “A big thank you goes to everyone at the Royal British Legion Scotland in Arbroath and especially Dallas Roy for the huge amount of work organising this parade in such as short space of time.”

Twitter:@Arbroath_Herald