Darwen spitfire plans ready for take-off!

Blackburn Citizen: REPLICA The model made by WEC and left, the plane Darreners bought REPLICA The model made by WEC and left, the plane Darreners bought

PLANS to erect a model Spitfire in Darwen have been given the green light by the council.

A call to erect a memorial to a Spitfire bought by the people of Darwen during the Second World War was made more than three years ago.

Metal fabrication firm WEC, of Junction Street in the town, offered to erect a replica model – one 12th the size — free of charge.

And now it is hoped the replica, planned to be sited at the traffic island between the A666, Borough Road, Green Street and Arch Street, will be unveiled at a ceremony later this year.

In September 1940, during the Second World War, a fund to buy a Spitfire for the RAF was launched in the town.

It was accepted into service the following March, but it was lost in July somewhere over France.

WEC marketing manager Jean Dziki said: “We were delighted to hear planning permission has been granted. Our apprentices have worked really hard on this for the past 18 months.

“The Spitfire is now about 95 per cent complete, with apprentices focusing on the outstanding parts including the nose cone, cockpit and propellers. We hope the memorial should be ready for installation by the autumn.

“There is a lot of anticipation here about the Spitfire as we are sure it will become a landmark that all Darreners can be proud of.”

Former Sunnyhurst councillor Tony Melia originally called for a permanent memorial to the town’s Spitfire, as reported in the Lancashire Telegraph in 2008. He said: “I am really pleased it has been approved. The apprentices did a smashing job and I can’t wait to see it up.”

At the time, chairman of the Darwen branch of the Royal British Legion, Brian Thompson, who has since died, said Darwen was the smallest town in the country to buy a Spitfire during the war.

Darwen Town Council deputy chairman Coun Trevor Maxfield said he was delighted.

He said: “I am glad it has finally gone through as it has been ongoing for about three years.

“For WEC to put so much money into the town with this project is great and I think they deserve a great deal of gratitude.

“It will be good for the town. People will say ‘that’s the place where the Spitfire is’.”

Comments (12)

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12:35pm Tue 17 Jul 12

Darren1951 says...

Absolutely smashing- something that'll keep the drunks and vandals occupied after dark!
Absolutely smashing- something that'll keep the drunks and vandals occupied after dark! Darren1951

1:36pm Tue 17 Jul 12

A Darener says...

If they mount it on a turntable, fix CCTv cameras to it and loaded machine guns they could shoot any vandals as they went about their business in the town centre.
If they mount it on a turntable, fix CCTv cameras to it and loaded machine guns they could shoot any vandals as they went about their business in the town centre. A Darener

2:02pm Tue 17 Jul 12

Darren1951 says...

A Darener wrote:
If they mount it on a turntable, fix CCTv cameras to it and loaded machine guns they could shoot any vandals as they went about their business in the town centre.
Gets my vote!
[quote][p][bold]A Darener[/bold] wrote: If they mount it on a turntable, fix CCTv cameras to it and loaded machine guns they could shoot any vandals as they went about their business in the town centre.[/p][/quote]Gets my vote! Darren1951

3:02pm Tue 17 Jul 12

jimpy0 says...

another waste of time money and effort
another waste of time money and effort jimpy0

3:12pm Tue 17 Jul 12

Sad Darwener says...

Darwen International Airport!
Darwen International Airport! Sad Darwener

6:22pm Tue 17 Jul 12

louderfasterlonger says...

jimpy0 wrote:
another waste of time money and effort
Would that be a waste of the time and effort that the apprentices have used in fine-tuning their skills and the money that WEC are perfectly entitled to waste on the Apprentice's Training ?
The bi-product being a unique landmark for Darwen.
Or perhaps we are wasting our time remembering the generocity of our parents and grand-parents in raising money during times of intense hardship to aid the war effort !
[quote][p][bold]jimpy0[/bold] wrote: another waste of time money and effort[/p][/quote]Would that be a waste of the time and effort that the apprentices have used in fine-tuning their skills and the money that WEC are perfectly entitled to waste on the Apprentice's Training ? The bi-product being a unique landmark for Darwen. Or perhaps we are wasting our time remembering the generocity of our parents and grand-parents in raising money during times of intense hardship to aid the war effort ! louderfasterlonger

7:07pm Tue 17 Jul 12

Darren1951 says...

LFL - I'm being serious now. I'm an ex-regular myself, and fully understand and appreciate the time and effort which goes into something like this. I'm sure it will evoke many memories, sadly not all pleasant ones, and a lot of justifiable pride, if that isn't a contradiction in terms. However, on a practical and more realistic note, just look what happens when almost any effort is are made to "cheer up" our little town....railway station vandalised, children's play facilities wrecked, or burnt, etc., etc. Unless a twenty-four hour guard is placed on it, I really do fear for its future.
LFL - I'm being serious now. I'm an ex-regular myself, and fully understand and appreciate the time and effort which goes into something like this. I'm sure it will evoke many memories, sadly not all pleasant ones, and a lot of justifiable pride, if that isn't a contradiction in terms. However, on a practical and more realistic note, just look what happens when almost any effort is are made to "cheer up" our little town....railway station vandalised, children's play facilities wrecked, or burnt, etc., etc. Unless a twenty-four hour guard is placed on it, I really do fear for its future. Darren1951

7:07am Wed 18 Jul 12

ex council slave says...

Police in Darwen could not guard anything not even the police station.Would have been money and time better spent doing up the pathways in the woods also maintaining the drop kerbs around the town.
Police in Darwen could not guard anything not even the police station.Would have been money and time better spent doing up the pathways in the woods also maintaining the drop kerbs around the town. ex council slave

8:53am Wed 18 Jul 12

stonewall riot says...

A Darener wrote:
If they mount it on a turntable, fix CCTv cameras to it and loaded machine guns they could shoot any vandals as they went about their business in the town centre.
gets my vote too. Instead of the traffic island there why dont we just have road - then when u are coming from blackburn u dont have to queue all the way up to the plumbin place (behind traffic that is going straight up bolton road) when u just want to turn up past £1 shop. That traffic island is a waste of space - now it seems greater minds than mine have decided to make it a waste of space with a spit fire on top! wasnt that 'new' road system supposed to ease traffic? well get rid of traffic island.
[quote][p][bold]A Darener[/bold] wrote: If they mount it on a turntable, fix CCTv cameras to it and loaded machine guns they could shoot any vandals as they went about their business in the town centre.[/p][/quote]gets my vote too. Instead of the traffic island there why dont we just have road - then when u are coming from blackburn u dont have to queue all the way up to the plumbin place (behind traffic that is going straight up bolton road) when u just want to turn up past £1 shop. That traffic island is a waste of space - now it seems greater minds than mine have decided to make it a waste of space with a spit fire on top! wasnt that 'new' road system supposed to ease traffic? well get rid of traffic island. stonewall riot

9:27am Wed 18 Jul 12

Your ferret stinks says...

stonewall riot wrote:
A Darener wrote: If they mount it on a turntable, fix CCTv cameras to it and loaded machine guns they could shoot any vandals as they went about their business in the town centre.
gets my vote too. Instead of the traffic island there why dont we just have road - then when u are coming from blackburn u dont have to queue all the way up to the plumbin place (behind traffic that is going straight up bolton road) when u just want to turn up past £1 shop. That traffic island is a waste of space - now it seems greater minds than mine have decided to make it a waste of space with a spit fire on top! wasnt that 'new' road system supposed to ease traffic? well get rid of traffic island.
Spot on! Build a road for traffic then place a great big plant pot in the middle of it or any other number of inanimate objects.
Why not put it outside the town hall were there is already cctv to keep an eye on it. Light it up with lasers and play dambusters music at your festivals etc.
Just not in the road for cripes sake!
[quote][p][bold]stonewall riot[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]A Darener[/bold] wrote: If they mount it on a turntable, fix CCTv cameras to it and loaded machine guns they could shoot any vandals as they went about their business in the town centre.[/p][/quote]gets my vote too. Instead of the traffic island there why dont we just have road - then when u are coming from blackburn u dont have to queue all the way up to the plumbin place (behind traffic that is going straight up bolton road) when u just want to turn up past £1 shop. That traffic island is a waste of space - now it seems greater minds than mine have decided to make it a waste of space with a spit fire on top! wasnt that 'new' road system supposed to ease traffic? well get rid of traffic island.[/p][/quote]Spot on! Build a road for traffic then place a great big plant pot in the middle of it or any other number of inanimate objects. Why not put it outside the town hall were there is already cctv to keep an eye on it. Light it up with lasers and play dambusters music at your festivals etc. Just not in the road for cripes sake! Your ferret stinks

2:19am Thu 19 Jul 12

english rose 1 says...

ex council slave wrote:
Police in Darwen could not guard anything not even the police station.Would have been money and time better spent doing up the pathways in the woods also maintaining the drop kerbs around the town.
Not really...it cost the taxpayer nothing to make (thanks to WEC / apprentices).
Installation costs will be minimal too - maybe a couple of grand ?

So not many paths in the woods or maintenance of drop kerbs would take place for that kind of money !
[quote][p][bold]ex council slave[/bold] wrote: Police in Darwen could not guard anything not even the police station.Would have been money and time better spent doing up the pathways in the woods also maintaining the drop kerbs around the town.[/p][/quote]Not really...it cost the taxpayer nothing to make (thanks to WEC / apprentices). Installation costs will be minimal too - maybe a couple of grand ? So not many paths in the woods or maintenance of drop kerbs would take place for that kind of money ! english rose 1

10:01pm Fri 20 Jul 12

Unhappycyclist says...

The chap who owns WEC paid for this, and the dome on the tower out of his own money, and for the benefit of the town. Proper Bloke. It will do the town proud.
The chap who owns WEC paid for this, and the dome on the tower out of his own money, and for the benefit of the town. Proper Bloke. It will do the town proud. Unhappycyclist

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