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Collecting for Spitfire for Britain Fund

by willtrack

Contributed by 
willtrack
People in story: 
Bill Carlisle, Ben Stockley
Location of story: 
Crank near St.Helens, Lancashire
Background to story: 
Civilian
Article ID: 
A3249434
Contributed on: 
09 November 2004

I lived in a remote village called Crank, which is near St.Helens in Lancashire:.
We heard the German planes going over to bomb Liverpool, on a nightly basis
Sometime in 1940 or 1941 my father asked me if I would be willing to collect for the "Spitfire fo Britain Fund".
I set forth with enthusiasm, a pocket book & pencil.
The first few house calls gave one or two pounds (when a pound was quite a large sum!)
Then I called on Mr Ben Stockley and old farmer who was well known for even ruling his own family with an iron rod!
It was with some trepidation that I outlined the scheme and was rather surprised when he asked "How much do Spitfires cost?"
I had been suitably briefed and said "£32,000".
He said he couldn't afford all that, but wrote out a cheque for the fabulous amount of £16,000 (sixteen thousand pounds).
I was so excited I didn't collect any more and raced home on my bike to tell my dad.
Very few people know the sort of sacrifices people made, without fuss or even wish for recognition, to help with the war effort.
WA Carlisle 9 Springfield Rd, Springfield, Wigan WN6 7AT

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