A Super Marine Spitfire Over Yorkshire

Ex Bootneck shared a priceless story of times gone by, here:

A few years back I walked twenty-five miles of the ‘Lyke Wake Walk’ and stopped to eat lunch on top of Grouse Hill over looking the coastal town of Robin Hoods Bay, (East Yorkshire). I sat and rummaged through my bergan for my flask and sandwich tin whilst taking in the view out to the North Sea. As I cracked the seal on the tin I heard a powerful ‘roaring throaty grumble’ of an engine approaching; I turned and looked towards the sound; I then sat in awe, virtually dumbstruck…

Below me, and heading south along the coastline, was a Super Marine Spitfire going at full pelt. The sight as well as the sound was incredible, almost too much to take in. I was no more than 100 feet away from it as passed me, the deep roar reverberated in my chest; the pilot’s face was as plain as day…
(The whole area surrounding East Yorkshire is unspoilt and very much as it was in the 1940′s; to see this wondrous flying machine belting along the coast made the hairs stand up on my neck. It also made me think of the tales and stories of this machine that was passed on by my Dad; it brought a lump to my throat).

I suppose it would be hard to understand the sight and emotions before me, as it really is a British thing~ defence of the realm etc. At the time of impending Nazi invasion, ‘Winston Churchill’ said the following of the pilots who flew such aircraft throughout the air war of the Battle of Britain…

“The gratitude of every home in our Island, in our Empire, and indeed throughout the world, except in the abodes of the guilty, goes out to the British airmen who, undaunted by odds, unwearied in their constant challenge and mortal danger, are turning the tide of the world war by their prowess and by their devotion. Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few”.

For the benefit of that Canadian ‘Brat’ Justin Beiber, (just in case he reads this blog)! Some of the ‘few’ pilots were as young as eighteen years old, many of whom sacrificed their own lives for others to live a free life.

Moving on…

Unbelievably another aircraft came along; this time it was a C-47 Dakota with USAAF markings, at the exact same height and flight path?

As I sat dazed and bewildered at what had just passed before me (slurping from my old tin mug); I then heard a high pitched whining ‘hiss’ that turned into a deafening roar as a group of fast jets approached on the same route; and flashed past… bugger me it was the RAF’s Red Arrows display team?

(As I watched them scream past I relaxed the grip on my corned beef & ‘Branson’ pickle sandwich, the contents of which tumbled to the ground)!

I quickly called a friend who lived local and asked if he knew what the score was regarding my unique fly past. It transpired that it was an Air show that covered the route from Whitby to Scarborough, and for my sins in life I was chosen to sit right on, and slightly above, the air corridor.

A day thoroughly enjoyed and the sore feet came free of charge (and yes I did pick up and eat the contents of my sandwich-it’s a man thing).

Justin Bieber, to the best of my knowledge, does not read this blog.

8 thoughts on “A Super Marine Spitfire Over Yorkshire”

  1. I know Navy One and a salute to Ex Bootneck…it was a great story….I read it while I was going back a short time ago…I would have loved to have witnessed this…it is a rare day in anyone’s life….k

  2. He is so right, there is nothing like the iconic sound of Rollys Royce Merlin engine to get the blood pumping. I am partial to them in the P-51, but I have never seen a Spit person.

  3. Some thing similar on the following link, which shows a ‘Hurricane’ buzzing a group of people sitting on top of Beachy Head on the South Coast. The ‘Hurricane’ was a more stable flying gun platform than the Spitfire, and was more successful throughout WW2. The Spitfire became more iconic due to Churchill’s speech.


    Yours Aye.

  4. EB’s stories are always great and I’m glad you share them with us.

    Once while riding the horses across the pond dam, we heard two fighter type jets coming. I hollered to my daughter to brace herself and hang on to the reins. Those two jets flew so low that I saw the pilots laughing as they went by. The horses bolted, but we held on.

    Also, at the Ia Drang Valley veteran’s reunion several years ago, my uncle told me that the banquet use to be started by the chest-thumping sound of helicopters coming in. But the vets complained that the sound was too emotional for them so they dropped the sound and changed to old rock-n-roll music instead.

  5. Sadly the music industry creates these little ‘blighters’ all around the world; (I figure they have all been cloned from Michael Jackson)!

    Mark, I have worked alongside some awesome Canadians who joined the Royal Marines, two of which that I personally know of (after successful careers) returned to Canada and joined the RCMP.

    I also know of one Canadian that left the RM’s after nine years who went on to join the French Foreign Legion, where he still serves on to this day.


  6. EB: I love that video. What an amazing experience for those folks!
    Lou: I am glad your horses did not go absolutely crazy.
    Mark: Haha! RGR. . .
    EB: Wow, the FFL. An interesting organization.

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