The Friends of Chippenham Museum welcomed 130 guests to their special screening of documentary film Secret Spitfires, held at the Neeld Community & Arts Centre in Chippenham on Tuesday 3 September. The screening took place on the 80th Anniversary of the declaration of WWII, with the film revealing how WWII Spitfire fighter aircraft were built in secret in the heart of Southern England in locations including Trowbridge and Salisbury.
The film was introduced by Director Ethem Cetintas, who gave insight into the process of making the documentary. After the film, which ended with a round of applause from the audience, guests enjoyed refreshments followed by a questions and answers session with Norman Parker. Now in his 90s, Norman is a Spitfire Engineer and historical advisor for the film.
Left to right: Ray Alder, Chair of the Friends of Chippenham Museum, Melissa Barnett, Curator at Chippenham Museum, Norman Parker, Spitfire Engineer and Ethem Cetintas, Film Director, at the screening
Ray Alder, Chair of the Friends of Chippenham Museum, said “We were thrilled to welcome so many to the film screening, demonstrating a real interest in this local story. Being able to meet the film Director Ethem and Norman the Spitfire Engineer really brought the story to life for our audience and we’d like to thank them both for coming to Chippenham.”
The Friends of Chippenham Museum support the museum in a number of ways including fundraising, promoting activities and organising an enjoyable social programme. As well as a regular newsletter Friends are invited to exhibition openings, talks and special activities. Membership is £5 per year, visit Chippenham Museum to join.
Donations raised during the film screening have been divided between the Friends of Chippenham Museum and Dame Vera Lynn Children’s Charity.
Chippenham Museum’s Curator Melissa Barnett said about the event “The film screening was a huge success, virtually a sell-out, and a great opportunity for our town to learn first-hand about a local story that is rarely spoken about.”
Chippenham Museum, a Chippenham Town Council facility, is free to visit and tells the story of the people and history of Chippenham and surrounding villages from prehistoric times up until the present day with a varied programme of exhibitions and displays.