At Last! The Secret Spitfire Factory Movie Is Released

Secret Spitfire Factories of Salisbury made by Etham Media

Secret Spitfire Factories of Salisbury made by Etham Media

Good news at last about the filming of a local true story from the Second World War.

In July 2016 Gary Roberts contacted Solent Aviatrix after finding the article about Stella Rutter on this website. Gary, associate producer on the filming of Secret Spitfire Factory in Salisbury, wanted to talk to Stella about her autobiography, “Tomorrow Is D-Day”.

Stella worked in the Spitfire drawing office of Vickers Supermarine at Hursley, Winchester.

Supermarine staff outside Hursley Park 1943

Supermarine staff outside Hursley Park 1943. Courtsey Hursley Archive custodian.

Gary was put in contact with Stella and he interviewed her, at home in Emsworth, for the film.

At last the film has been released and for the last week has being showing at The Odeon in Salisbury.

Because it has been so successful, a full house at each viewing, the cinema intends to extend the screening of the film by one week.

Gary Roberts told Solent Aviatrix today (15 November) there is a possibility of other cinemas around the region showing the film if the cinema chain thinks there is enough interest by cinema-goers to see it. In other words we need to create a demand.

Surely it should be shown in Southampton and Eastleigh, home of the Spitfire?

Stella Rutter at Boultbee Academy Goodwood

Stella Rutter meets a Boultbee Spitfire, Goodwood 2017. Copyright Stephen Mosley

As it was the Air Transport Auxiliary pilots at Hamble Ferry Pool, Southampton, who collected all these locally assembled Spitfires and delivered them to the RAF bases, this film has a great deal of interest local to the Solent area.

Some of the Spitfire Girls were Felicity Bragg, Jackie Moggridge, Lettice Curtis and Mary Ellis.

Gary said, “It is also out on DVD now which can be purchased from the film’s Producer Etam Cetintas.”

Go to Secret Spitfire website for full details of the film and to contact Etam about the DVD.


Vote for People’s Spitfire Pilot Jackie Moggridge

The Telegraph has sent out the call, “Britons, the RAF needs you: Have your say in the vote ‘The People’s Spitfire Pilot.'”

The RAF will celebrate it’s centenary in 2018 and will put on a special exhibition. They are asking the public about exhibition content.

Spitfire Girl - My Life in the AIr by Jackie Moggridge

Spitfire Girl – My Life in the AIr by Jackie Moggridge

The RAF Museum has nominated 11 pilots and are inviting people to vote for their choice of Spitfire Pilot.

Jackie Moggridge has been nominated by RAFM volunteer Cathie Mulcair.
Jackie is the only woman pilot in the list. Currently she is in third position in the poll.

Topping the poll is a Polish pilot Franciszek Kornicki.

In second place is Sir Douglas Bader.

It is not too late for you to add your vote. Follow this link to The People’s Spitfire Pilot Poll and click the box next to the pilot’s photo.

Solent Aviatrix Pilot Bear

British Bear Faced Spitfire Pilot

Fifty Ways to Fly

Fifty Ways To Fly anthology compiled by Alison Hill

Fifty Ways To Fly anthology

Alison Hill’s latest book is a collection of poems and songs on a single theme contributed by 45 people. She has edited the book in a creative style.

‘Fifty Ways to Fly,’ includes a poem by Jackie Moggridge which is published posthumously for the first time. It was discovered by Jackie’s daughter Candy amongst her mother’s memorabilia. ‘The Last Flight,’ is very moving. Jackie had written it on the back of an ATA snag report chit dated 1943.

Also republished is a humorous poem by Pauline Gower called ‘Ten Little Aeroplanes‘. Originally one of the ‘Piffling Poems for Pilots,’ Pauline’s son Michael Fahie is delighted to give permission for it to be one of the ‘Fifty Ways’.

Other contributors include Alison herself with her tribute to Jackie Moggridge and Ian Duhig has penned a tribute to the immortal Amy with, ‘The Last Testament Of Amy Johnson‘.

Look closely at the cover image and you may spot yours truly listed. My offering is, ‘Prayer for Freedom Flight’. I’m proud to appear in the same publication as Pauline Gower and Jackie Moggridge.

Alison Hill will be reading from Fifty Ways to Fly anthology, on Sunday, 17th September 2017 at The Square Tower, Old Portsmouth. It is organised by Tongues and Grooves, run by poet Maggie Sawkins, who has two poems in the anthology.

All profits from the book sale will go to British Women’s Pilot Association. Copies of the book are available by following this link to Alison Hill.

For news of other aviation events in the Solent area this year go to the Notice Board. Don’t miss the Southwick Revival and Daedalus 100. There are also two research projects asking for help and your anecdotes. Plus an Aviation Art Society is open to new members.

Radio Solent to interview Candy Adkins about Jackie Moggridge

BBC Radio Solent will interview Candy Adkins about her remarkable mother Jackie Moggridge on Tuesday 23rd September from 3.30 pm to 4.00 pm, on the Katie Martin show.

Spitfire Girl - My Life in the AIr by Jackie Moggridge

Spitfire Girl – My Life in the AIr by Jackie Moggridge

Jackie’s links to the Solent area include ‘doing her bit’ for the country in wartime, as an ATA pilot based at Hamble. After the war she flew commercial aircraft between Portsmouth, the Isle of Wight and the Channel Islands.

When Christopher Balfour published his book ‘Spithead Express’. Jackie supported his book launch at Shawford.

You can learn more about Jackie Moggridge on the pages of this website. There is also more about ‘Spithead Express’ on the Amy Johnson page.


Spitfire Girl’s daughter interviewed by ITV West Country News

Candy Adkins, daughter of Jackie Moggridge, was interviewed by ITV News West Country (East) about the publication of Jackie’s autobiography ‘Spitfire Girl’. Originally published in the 1950s as ‘Woman Pilot’, the new version has been updated and augmented with many photographs. The interview features film taken of Carolyn Grace with Jackie Moggridge flying the Grace Spitfire.

Click on this link to view the ITV  interview

Jackie Moggridge with Carolyn Grace and Spitfire ML407

Jackie Moggridge with Carolyn Grace and Spitfire ML407. Copyright Candy Adkins.


‘Spitfire Girl’ Book Launch Event at West London Aero Club

Spitfire Girl - My Life in the AIr by Jackie Moggridge

Spitfire Girl – My Life in the AIr by Jackie Moggridge

The ATA Museum (Maidenhead Heritage Centre) is planning a book launch event for ‘Spitfire Girl’ at the West London Aero Club on 19 July 2014, subject to final confirmation. Jackie’s daughter Candy is hoping to attend the event.

Candy is based in Taunton, Somerset with her family and is available for interview and features about her incredible mother. For more information on a wealth of images and extra content available for features, please contact Head of Zeus Publicity Manager Becci Sharpe on or call 02075 537982   @Hoz_Books

ATA First Officer Peter Garrod, now Commodore of the ATA Association, has kindly sent in this photograph of himself with Jackie, at an ATA Reunion Dinner.

Jackie Moggridge with ATA Association Commodore Peter Garrod at an ATA Reunion.

Jackie Moggridge with ATA Association Commodore Peter Garrod.


Photos and Message of support from Jill and Candy, Jackie Moggridge’s daughters

From Veronica Jill (Robinson ) nee Moggridge:
”Thank you for your article on my mother. It is so true. It brought back many memories.
My mother would drop me off on her first flight to Sandown airfield and pick me up in the evening after her last flight of the day and we would return to digs in Southsea. I believe Mary Wilkins kept an eye on me.
You are quite correct. My mother took me with her whenever she could, sneaking me on to the aircraft, telling me to pretend I did not know her!
I did not realise then how amazing and unusual my mother was. I thought it was normal to fly with your mother or go to London and wait outside whilst she took her instrument rating exams.
There are so many stories to tell. I don’t think people would believe it.”

Jackie Moggridge with family during her interview with BBC

Jackie Moggridge with family during her interview with BBC. Copyright Candy Adkins.

(Try us, Jill. No pressure, but can we hope that one day, you will find time to write your own book about your mother?)

From Candy Adkins (nee Moggridge):
”Thank you for such an accurate, fun, and concise page. A glimpse of her exciting life in the air through war, peace, family life and her artistic hobbies – fighting prejudice with humour and charming determination all the way. As you have deftly shown, flying was her passion.

Here is another set of photos from our album. Please add them to your website so everyone can share our memories of her. These images are not in the 2014 republication ‘Spitfire Girl’, biography of Jackie’s life.”

(My thanks to Candy for sending in these images. They are so evocative of a bygone era, from 1930s South Africa, to Britain of the 1940s and 50s.

The dozen photos include, recorded for posterity – Jackie’s first parachute jump.

There is an excellent image of the De Havilland Rapide which she flew for Channel Airways.

The charming photo of Jackie and family with legendary Richard Dimbleby encapsulates the golden age of BBC Radio, when this was the only source of broadcast home entertainment, long before TV was in every household.

Another photo captures the moment when Jackie became the first woman airline Captain to fly passengers on scheduled flights. Taken outside Channel Airways building, it includes a wall map of the airline’s routes.

The ‘Spitfires to Burma’ photo shows Jackie with the other pilots.

You can see Jackie reunited with the Grace Spitfire and many more images. Go to the Jackie Moggridge page to view them all.)