A team of Apprentices from the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford have put life back into a local landmark in the form of a World War Two Spitfire model. The model has been displayed on a plinth in the front garden of a family home in Kynnersley, Telford for over forty years and was brought into the Museum as a community project in autumn 2010.
The large metal model of a wartime Spitfire was originally made as a tribute to ‘the few’ and was already on display when homeowner Mr John Lloyd purchased the house 14 years ago. The project was brought to the Museums attention following an email from a member of the public who informed us the model was badly corroded and in much need of some special care. After looking at the model, the Museum saw it as a great learning opportunity for our team of Apprentices and contacted Mr Lloyd. He was delighted the Museum had offered to restore the model to its former glory.
The project was led by Museum Apprentice Laura Pringle aged 20 from Dawley with assistance from her fellow Apprentices and guidance from the Museum’s Aircraft Technicians. Extensive work carried out on the model included: the corroded skin being removed; a new cockpit area manufactured to better represent a Spitfire, including a new pilot; the wings were stripped and re-sized to the correct proportion; the nose cone was rebuilt; wing fairings were added to make it more aero dynamic; an air intake scoop was added to the front of the aircraft; and finally, the complete model was given a repaint.
RAF Museum Apprentice Laura Pringle says:
“I enjoyed working with all the other Apprentices on the project. We were all able to learn different skills from each others trades. We learned how to roll aluminum, how to weld as well as working with, and treating, different types of wood.”
After spending almost two years in the RAF Museum’s Conservation Centre, the model has now been returned back to Mr Lloyd and is on display to passers by at his home in Kynnersley. Mr Lloyd was so pleased with the results and the work that had gone into the model that he made a generous donation to the Museum for all their efforts.