Wooden Toy Spitfire 1940

Contributed by Mark Norris

Wooden Toy Spitfire 1940

Icon of the Battle of Britain and the pivotal events of 1940 following the occupation of Europe and threat of invasion of Britain, this simple toy wooden Spitfire from the 1940s is comfortably and lightly made to fit the hand and fire the imagination of a wartime child. It is wooden, painted green with paper stickers, only simple metal propellers and no rubber wheels, at a time when toy shops were fairly empty, as British toy factories were being turned over to war production. Many other toy manufacturers were based in Germany. Metal and rubber were in short supply. Airfix plastic Spitfire kits as part of childhood were many years off after the war!

This toy plane symbolises part of my childhood, my family story and 'our island story'. My father played with similar handmade planes (from scrap) during the war as an evacuee, his father away in the RAF. I grew up surrounded by RAF airfields, names famous from the Battle of Britain. I found this whilst collecting objects for our World War Zoo gardens project at Newquay Zoo http://worldwarzoogardener1939.wordpress.com .

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