A replica Hawker Hurricane plane which featured in the original Battle of Britain film in 1969 has been restored and unveiled at a Lincolnshire museum. The We’ll Meet Again Museum in Shore Road, Freiston, near Boston, is full of memorabilia that tells the human stories of the home front and service overseas in wartime.
One of the museum’s most exciting pieces of memorabilia has been unveiled and is now undoubtedly the main attraction. The replica Hurricane featured in the Battle of Britain film with the code letter ‘J’ and was built at Pinewood Studios.
When the film was released, the Hurricane was mounted on the Odeon cinema roof in Lincoln for promotional purposes from December 1969 to February 1970. The aircraft then had various owners and has been kept away from public view for some time.
In August 2023 the Hurricane was acquired by Paul and Linda Britchford, owners of the We’ll Meet Again museum. Paul was diagnosed with terminal cancer in 2022 and, since purchasing the plane, has worked tirelessly to lovingly restore it to its original state in order to display it at the museum and keep it in Lincolnshire for generations to come.
The plane was unveiled on Wednesday, November 15 by the Lord-Lieutenant of Lincolnshire, Toby Smith, for a small audience and members of the press. Chairman of the museum, Graham Overton, played a part in the restoration of the plane. He said: “When it first came it was in a bit of a sorry state.
“The lads have worked unbelievably long hours and it looks absolutely fantastic. We found out that Paul had terminal cancer in August and this has been a massive help to him because it’s given him the drive and ambition to get it done.”
People from 56 different countries have come to visit the unique museum which has been running for around five years. Another volunteer, Bradley Cooper, was the technical advisor during the restoration of the historic replica plane. He said: “It’s great to see it finally come together.
“There’s still more that we want to do with it in the future. It could’ve been something that took us a good few years, but we had the skills and were able to put in the time and the key thing was for Paul to be able to see it completed.
“There was a few times that he was taken ill and he was unable to join us for a long while and we were just hoping he’d be able to pull through. We’ve succeeded and can see the smile on his face once again.”