Did you know Blackpool was one of the largest military training centres in the world during World War II? In fact, almost 800,000 RAF recruits had their initial training in the town. During this time, Blackpool residents raised funds to sponsor three Spitfires known as Progress I, II and III.
For this year’s display, one of the replica Spitfires named Holly, has been placed as the centrepiece at Gynn Roundabout in a touching tribute to the Battle of Britain. The Spitfire has been refurbished and converted back into a Mark VB Spitfire by the Blackpool Illuminations team in collaboration with Blackpool’s aviation museum, Hangar 42.
The fighter plane will be tastefully illuminated with sweeping search lights and a dazzling video mapped laser show, which will be synced to music, lighting up the fuselage every 15 minutes.
How is Blackpool celebrating the Battle of Britain?
The resort has released a video compilation featuring two of the iconic fighter planes that took part in the battle, a special lighting up of The Blackpool Tower in red, white and blue, illuminating the arches with the union flag at the north and south end of the Illuminations display, and a performance by Britain’s favourite wartime group, the D-Day Darlings.
The short film is being released to commemorate the heroic deeds of those who fought for their country and can be viewed below:
The D-Day Darlings gave an exclusive performance of classic songs before being invited to switch-on that night’s Blackpool Illuminations display. Since appearing in Britain’s Got Talent, the group have emerged as the show’s most successful female group.
Then, as the Illuminations came on, a Hawker Hurricane flew over the Promenade with The Blackpool Tower and heart illuminated in red, white and blue as a tribute to the British forces.
Make your mark
There’s plenty of opportunities for kids to learn all about the Second World War now that we may find ourselves with more time on our hands. These colouring sheets are a useful way to introduce the Battle of Britain to your child. All you need to do is download and print.