LETTER: My model Spitfire helped buy plane

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I was very interested to read about Horsham’s Spitfire painted by Cedric de Nougerede in the WSCT of May 28th and to learn of its history.

During the war years I was attending Victory Road School and my teacher, Mrs Wheatland, one day asked if anyone could lend a model plane for a stall in the park at a fete to raise money to buy a Spitfire. Coins having been placed on a circular table, my Spitfire spun on an arm above and its stopping point determined a winner. So my Spitfire helped in a minute way to buy FY H. I had not known until now that the plane had performed 63 sorties before being shot down over the English Channel.

I had come to Horsham during the war to escape the severe bombing that Eastbourne endured. It was said at the time that Horsham was a safe haven as it was, from the air, not so noticeable situated between the North and South Downs and we had some wonderful friends who put up with us in Swindon Road until the war was nearly over. A year after returning to Eastbourne, my father was promoted in Horsham so back we came and, apart from my RAF service, I have lived in Horsham ever since.

So we were saved from the rule of Adolf Hitler although we are now governed by Angela Merkel!

Derek J Santer

Highlands Avenue, Horsham

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