A film to be broadcast on TV next year revealing how Spitfire fighters were built in secret during World War II will have a preview at the New Hall on Saturday 14th October 2017.

The film’s co-producer, Karl Howman, recently moved to Winchelsea.  The film, entitled The Secret Spitfires, explains how aircraft sub-assemblies were made in sheds, bus garages, warehouses and so on in the centre of Salisbury and Newbury. The finished sub-assemblies were covertly transferred to abandoned barns outside the towns, assembled into complete aircraft and flown straight to waiting fighter airfields.

The enterprise only recently came to light. The work began because the Luftwaffe regularly bombed known munitions factories across the UK.  Towns with no known military presence were not targets. All those involved, many of them young women at the time, were made to sign the Official Secrets Act. They talk about their work for the first time in the film.  The Secret Spitfires will be broadcast in 2018 to coincide with the creation of the Royal Air Force 100 years earlier. A trailer can be seen on-line at secretspitfires.com.

The film will be accompanied by a short film made in the 1920s of Winchelsea and its environs, which include the New Inn, Wesley’s Tree, Greyfriars and the town’s medieval gates. The film was tracked down to the Screen Archive South-East archives at the University of Sussex following detective work by David Merrifield.

The film show is being organised by Mayor Cynthia Feast in order to raise money for much-needed repairs to the Court Hall. The event is due to start at 3pm. Tickets at £8 will be sold on the door on a first come-first served basis.

Saturday 14th October at 3pm