From Bygone Salisbury with Frogg Moody

EARLIER this year, a grand old gentleman named Norman Parker gave a marvellous presentation to the Fisherton History Society on what for many years has been labelled Salisbury’s best kept secret.

Norman related to us the story of the secret Spitfire factories which were based in Salisbury during the Second World War and he highlighted his presentation with photographs taken at the time.

These were pictures of young girls in dungarees and a few men putting together a Spitfire fuselage, whilst others were making wings and assembling complete aeroplanes.

Amazingly there were factories, a dozen smaller units and a couple of airfields which did the final assemblies...right in the centre of Salisbury and some just outside.

It might be a fair assumption to think that in a small rural city with no trained engineers, surely only limited numbers of Spitfires could have been made? Norman stated that Salisbury was responsible for well over 2,000 which was about 10 per cent of total Spitfire manufacture. This was a master plan by Lord Beaverbrook and the war office to disperse the manufacture of Spitfires to secret unlikely locations after the main factories were bombed by the Germans.

A documentary film telling the whole incredible story has now been given the green light and will be shown at the Odeon Cinema, Salisbury from Friday, November 10, for one week.

Producer Ethem Cetintas said “This is a very proud moment for all of us after working on this project for over 2.5 years. Getting this documentary shown at the cinema is the best compliment we can have together with all our many supporters who have backed us from Crowdfunder as well as who backed us locally from Salisbury, Trowbridge, Southampton and far beyond. Thank you to everyone.”