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Love affair revealed

A lifelong love affair with the graceful curves of the inimitable Spitfire was the subject of the latest talk in the Trust’s spring series organised by Trustee Andy Simpson.

Self-confessed Spitfire addict Jo Rogers and her colleague Peter Hall entertained the Sunday afternoon audience in The Wing with a lively illustrated talk on their volunteer work with the Headcorn-based Aero Legends company.

Against the sound track of Public Service Broadcasting’s Spitfire, Jo showed many of the pictures that have previously been enjoyed by her 96,000 Instagram followers, where she is better known as That Spitfire Bird.

She and Peter, who enjoyed a 30-year career in the police before answering an Aero Legends call for volunteer ground crew in 2021, delivered a presentation entitled A Bird’s Eye View of Vintage Aviation.

After taking up gliding as a teenager, Jo was unable to follow her dream of flying with the RAF because it was not a career option for women in the early 1980s, something which clearly still rankles.

Instead, after a successful career on the ground she volunteered to help with the aircraft at Headcorn, in return for which she has enjoyed a number of ‘thank you’ flights as a passenger in aircraft flown by the likes of Charlie Brown. “I quite like being chauffeured,” she quipped.

Jo detailed the tasks she carries out to help customers enjoy the trip of a lifetime in one of the two-seat Spitfires – other warbirds – flying out of Headcorn, as well as revealing the emotional impact it inevitably has on them. Impressively illustrated with photographs and video footage, it was a well-received talk.

Our final talk in the series is this Sunday (26 March), when Artur Bildziuk will outline the history of Polish Eagles on London Mayoral Chains.

For some years, enamelled Polish Eagle badges have been presented to London Boroughs with significant connections to the Polish community, particularly those with connections to the Polish exiles who fought in the Battle of Britain. The badges are attached to the Mayoral chains as a permanent memorial to the Polish community in the Borough and the specific connection to WW2.

Artur, who is Chairman of the Polish Airmen’s Association, will talk about the history of the Polish eagle and its various designs as well as telling the story of the connections to the various London Boroughs.

With limited capacity at the talk, early booking is recommended.

Ticket prices:

Friend of the Few (Hurricane) Free Entry

Friend of the Few (Spitfire) £5

Guest of Friend of the Few (max one per friend) £6

Non-members of Friends of the Few £12.

For more details or to book, phone 01303 249292 or email

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