Model Spitfire tribute to the airmen of RAF Morpeth

The memorial to the airmen of the former RAF Morpeth includes a half-size model of a Spitfire Mk XII and a memorial board.
The memorial to the airmen of the former RAF Morpeth includes a half-size model of a Spitfire Mk XII and a memorial board.

An eye-catching memorial to the airmen of the former RAF Morpeth has been installed.

Robert Lutman has put the half-size model of the Spitfire Mk XII and a memorial board in place on the open grass in front of St Mary’s Inn near Stannington.

He is the grandson of Charles Lutman, who opened the world’s first model shop in Newcastle in 1924, and the design for the model aircraft was adapted from the original drawings that Charles made for his Spitfire models.

The former airfield near Tranwell village and Whitehouse Farm Centre initially housed No 4 Air Gunnery School and accommodation was in 10 dispersal sites to the north and east.

Robert said: “Hopefully, residents and historians will go along to have a look and it will become a permanent fixture.

“I discussed my plans with the team at St Mary’s Inn and they were really supportive of the memorial.

“I would like to thank Michael, draftsman at Barrington Metalworks in Bedlington, for his contribution (cutting the steel).”

The information on the memorial board includes the following: ‘Most of the air gunnery practice was offshore at Druridge Bay, where several of the original war-time structures still exist.

‘Many of the airmen who flew here were Polish and several settled in the Morpeth area following the war (Second World War).

‘A large number of Polish casualties, including airmen from the airfield, are buried in the graveyard at of St Mary’s Church, Morpeth.’