Thu, 14 May 2015
Staff at the Vickers Armstrong factory made parts for Spitfire aircraft during world war two.
Most of the workers at the Vickers Armstrong factory had been evacuated from the Supermarine factory at Southampton to avoid the bombing. Many of them lived in "prefabs" in Rupert Road. The factory, which closed in 1963, was off Turnpike Road in Shaw,on the site now occupied by Quantel.
Mrs Sheila Smith, who sent us the photographs, tells us that her late husband Tom Smith worked in the drawing office; and his father, who was know as 'Tiger' Smith, also worked at the factory.
Did you or anyone you know work there? Do you have any memories from the time, that you would like to share with us? Please get in touch. Contact our librarian Jackie Markham on 01635 886654 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
On 24 November 2016, Peter Arnold sent us the following comments which we are happy to add for clarity:
"Your article and fascinating images of the Spitfire at Newbury have recently been bought to my attention.
Although they are credited as 1940 vintage this cannot be so.
The five blade propellers determine this be a Mk XIV Spitfire that did not come in to service until 1944.
Although the images are of low resolution the serial number appears to be RM867. Do please confirm if you have higher resolution.
RM867 was involved in an accident October 1944 and was scheduled to be repaired at the factory of Airwork General Trading Ltd.
Latterly it was declared beyond economic repair and was written off.
I believe what we have here is a post WWII float, possibly a Victory celebration parade in 1945.
It is made up of the fuselage of RM867 to which has been fitted sawn off stub wings and undercarriage and early Spitfire wheels that were not used on the Mk XIV."
Peter Arnold, Spitfire Historian.