All systems go for centenary

Montrose Air Station Heritage Centre aims to have its Spitfire in place by next summer.
Montrose Air Station Heritage Centre aims to have its Spitfire in place by next summer.

PLANS for a commemoration of Montrose’s part in the country’s aviation history can now go ahead following the award of £40,000 towards a replica Spitfire.

The iconic fighter aircraft were based at RAF Montrose, now Montrose Air Station Heritage Centre, throughout the Second World War and there are plans to have the full size replica in place for next summer. In 2013 the centre will celebrate the centenary of the former air station and mark its place in history as Britain’s first operational military airfield.

The grant was approved by Angus councillors at last week’s neighbourhood services committee meeting with funding from the authority’s Survive and Thrive Cultural Heritage Tourism scheme, announced as part of this year’s budget.

Alan Doe, chairman of the Ian McIntosh Memorial Trust which runs the centre, said plans are in hand to hold the milestone celebration next July. There are hopes this will include an unveiling of the Spitfire as the museum’s new gate guardian by a member of the Royal family as well as a fly-past by the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.

He said: “The time of manufacture of the replica, by GB Replicas in Great Yarmouth, is around six months. We’ve now decided on a site and that particular day will be a big event.”