On the seafront against Fairhaven Lake you’ll usually see a Spitfire plane flying high in the sky. The nine-metre plane is a full-size, exact replica Spitfire. It was removed for refurbishment over the winter of 2018, but now it’s back!
It sits on a plinth and pole-like support next to the Lake. The centrepiece of a lakeside RAF Fighter and Bomber Command memorial. Its official title is the “Lytham St Annes RAF Fighter, Bomber & Coastal Command Memorial”.
If you’re not familiar with the area you can find it off the Inner Promenade at Lytham Saint Annes. Use postcode FY8 1BD.
Look Around the Spitfire Memorial
This is an excellent video showing you around the Spitfire, with thanks to Robert Hudson who filmed it.
The Spitfire is a fantastic addition to Fairhaven Lake. No-one should forget the frightening days of World War Two. The volunteers deserve full credit for their efforts and Fylde people are proud to host such a memorial.
Refurbishment for the Spitfire
Visitors to Fairhaven Lake over the winter of 2018 would be forgiven for thinking that the Lytham St Annes Spitfire W3644 had flown off.
After five years, the Ground Display Team made arrangements for it to be temporarily taken down for a winter refurbishment. A little later than expected, it returned in summer 2019.
The Spitfire went to Hangar 42, the Lytham St Annes Spitfire Ground Display Team’s base at Blackpool Airport. Wrea Green based business Wareings very kindly donated the equipment and personnel to help recover the Spitfire, which would have otherwise run to a considerable cost. Wareings had originally lifted and installed the plane.
The plaques and information have also been refurbished.
More about Lytham St Annes Spitfire Memorial
Lytham St Annes’ Spitfire, W3644, was shot down in Devon in 1942 when returning from France where it was escorting bombers.
Volunteer and fund-raiser John Coombes said: “Residents of Lytham and St Annes raised £6,500 to buy the original Spitfire plane in 1941.
“Sadly, it was shot down the following year. Residents were especially touched as its pilot – Sergeant Alan Lever-Ridings – had family connections with the area.
“Allan’s mother and grandparents lived in St Annes. It was especially poignant that a number of his surviving relatives attended the unveiling of the memorial in 2012.”
The Spitfire Memorial
On 19 August 2012 the Memorial was officially unveiled. It includes commemorative plaques to RAF, Commonwealth and United States Army Air Forces.
This RAF Fighter, Bomber & Coastal Command Memorial and its interactive “Roll of Honour” is quite unique. It’s a tribute those aircrewman who lost their lives on active service during WW2. It’s also an educational tool to enable future generations to learn about the many sacrifices made by the Royal Air Force. Both on the ground and in the air, between 1939 – 1945.
23 June 2017 marked the 75th anniversary of the loss of W3644. In 2017 the Team also opened a Visitor Centre at former RAF Squires Gate, in Hangar 42.
Lytham St Annes Ground Spitfire Display Team
The Lytham St Annes Ground Spitfire Display Team operate three Spitfire aircraft from their base at Blackpool Airport. The MkII’s and Mark IX’s are available to hire for events. They can cover all the UK and Western Europe.
You can also donate to the Lytham St Annes Spitfire Aircraft Preservation Fund.
While you’re here…
Have a look at the homepage of the Visit St Annes website for more of the latest updates.
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