Birchington came together for some community spirit on Saturday 5 September for the 75th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain. 438 Squadron ATC Band Margate played guests into the Village Centre for lunch.
The arrival of the Royal British Legion Standard commenced the afternoon. Remembering the few – exhortation by Colonel Latchford (Rtd). Lowering the Standard. Last post sounded by Mrs. Rachel horsbrugh followed by a minute’s silence to remember those who gave their lives for our freedom.
The Guest of honour was Wing Commander Christopher Thorpe DFC.MBA.FCMI.RAF accompanied by his wife. Wing Commander Thorpe gave a moving account of Manston’s role during the Battle of Britain and the importance Manston had protecting the Coastline.
Gordon Clarkson and Tony Matthews led the singing of war time songs around the piano. Plenty of dancing, laughter, singing and flag waving.
The wartime lunch was prepared and served by members of the Monkton Woman’s Institute. The Lord Woolton Pie and Corned Beef Hash was followed by Apple Crumble and Bread Pudding and was enjoyed by all. We thank them for doing such a fantastic job.
Spitfire Ale, courtesy of Messrs. Shepherd Neame received many compliments
The children from Birchington Primary School produced some beautiful pictures of Spitfires for the art exhibition. Winners for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place will be presented with a prize by Dr. Jack Cohen, Chairman of Birchington Parish Council, on 10 September.
£500 was raised from collections and a raffle. £440.00 will be donated to the Royal British Legion and £60.00 will be donated to the RAF Benevolent Fund in memory of Bill Furness, who sadly passed away recently. He worked tirelessly for Birchington and would have enjoyed the community togetherness which this anniversary lunch provided the village with. Cllr. Furness printed, designed and published the Commemorative Programme of Events.
We owe our thanks to the following people for giving up their time to organise this wonderful day.
Cllr. Marion Evans Mr Brian White Jane Hills David Darling Gordon Clarkson Jamie Thomson Cllr. John Hills and the late Cllr. Bill Furness