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Helping to Buy Beverley's Spitfire

The Battle of Britain may be over but the war over the skies continues, and so the people of Beverly crowd the Market Square and dig deep to buy one of Britain’s greatest war assets.

1941 4 mins Silent

From the collection of:

Logo for Yorkshire Film Archive


With the country still in the throes of the blitz in 1941, and with a shortage of fighters to help combat German bombers, Beverley joins the first national public fund raising event with a specific target: Ј5,000 to buy a Supermarine Spitfire. The band strikes up, with the Lord Mayor leading the singing, as women come around with their collecting tins, backed up by placard-wearing children.

This is one of many wartime films made by local filmmakers Debenhams. The idea of public fund raising to buy armaments originated in the First World War and was resurrected again with the National Savings Week of June 1940, followed by War Weapons Week (1941) and Warships Week (1942). Raising money for Spitfires occurred across the country from late 1940 – not to be confused with Wings for Victory Weeks of 1943, raising funds for bombers. A sum of Ј5,000 was needed for each Spitfire, which had greater kudos than the Hurricane. Spitfires were regularly upgraded, and it was the only Allied fighter plane that remained in production throughout the war. Film courtesy of East Riding of Yorkshire Council Archives.