September 12

The Spitfire Club (BMAG)

Did you know that Birmingham produced over 50% of all Spitfires in the War? Between 1940 and 1945, the Castle Bromwich factory was rolling out an average of 40 new planes a week!

We need your help to build a lasting memorial to these magnificent machines and the men and women who built them. Birmingham Museums is delighted to have received support from both the Heritage Lottery Fund and the DCMS Wolfson Galleries and Improvement Fund to radically reinterpret the Spitfire and Hurricane aircraft on display at Thinktank, Birmingham Science Museum. To do this, a 50m2 gallery will be constructed on the Mezzanine floor, where visitors will be at eye level with the aircraft. The gallery will enable visitors to find out about the history and evolution of the Spitfire through four themed sections: Design, Manufacture, Use and Legacy. Not only will the gallery look at the technical achievements of the planes and the science of flight, but also the human stories of the people who made them at the Castle Bromwich factory. We are currently recording oral histories and collecting objects with the help of elderly residents of the Castle Bromwich area, who either worked at the Spitfire factory or other West Midlands factories. Discoveries that have been made include a cricket club trophy belonging to Frank Hollins and a passbook belonging to the then 14-year old Eileen Weston who worked as a Hollerith punch operator (pictured).

We are thrilled the gallery is over 95% funded; however, we need your help to fulfill that extra 5%! That is why we are inviting you the join our exclusive ‘Spitfire Club’.

Join the Spitfire Club

If you are passionate about the Spitfire and Hurricane aircraft, local heritage and engineering here is your chance to be part of something special. Each donation will make a difference, but if you make a single donation of £75 or more you will become an ‘oppo’ (that means friend in RAF slang) of the Spitfire Club. You will receive a certificate of membership, three updates from Lis Chard-Cooper, the Science and Industry Curator, on the progress of the project and an exclusive invitation for you and a guest to see the completed gallery before it opens to the public! You will also be acknowledged online as an ‘oppo’ of the gallery. How to donate

  • By cheque: please make out a cheque to “Birmingham Museums Trust” and post to Development Office, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, Chamberlain Square, Birmingham, B3 3DH
  • By card: Call Maria Fofanova, Development Officer, on 0121 348 8293
  • Online: Visit our JustGiving page https://www.justgiving.com/BirminghamMuseums-Spitfire/

Many thanks for your support!      

Images courtesy of Birmingham Museum and Art Galleries
Spitfire thumbnail courtesy of – Peter Barton (@pdbarton)