General Donations to The Spitfire Society
Donations to The Spitfire Society are gratefully received to assist us with our core aims and objectives, together with supporting projects and appeals. We are currently looking at extended our support with educational grants, bursaries and scholarships to students undertaking aeronautical courses. Details of current and past supported projects can be found by clicking here. Like many charities, we can also claim Gift Aid support which could add an additional 20% to our donated income. Our current listed appeals are detailed below, with more exciting projects to follow. For general donations to The Spitfire Society, please donate here.
Restoration and Display of 'Aksel' Spitfire Replica
Our Spitfire replica 'Aksel' now requires repairs, re-painting and interpretation displays which will cost circa £20,000.
The replica was originally commissioned in the 1960s by the Svendsen family and presented to the Tangmere Military Aviation Museum in Sussex in memory of their son Aksel. Aksel Andreas Svendsen was born in Copenhagen in 1922 and moved with his family to Britain in 1929 to live in Exeter. At the age of 17, and at the start of World War 2, Aksel volunteered to join the Royal Air Force Voluntary Reserves. In April 1942, Aksel was posted to RAF Ibsley and No 234 Squadron. Later that month, he was detailed to carry out an operation with his squadron over France flying Spitfire BL924 from RAF Tangmere. Nine Spitfires were lost on this operation and Pilot Officer Aksel was shot down and killed.
On 3rd August 2012, Tangmere Military Aviation Museum reported that an inspection of our replica Spitfire Mk VB BL924 had revealed age-related structural problems and after an assessment of the necessary restoration work, damage was identified as beyond the Museum’s ability to repair.
At about the same time, the Spitfire Society was seeking a Spitfire replica for display purposes and possessed the required facilities and expertise conduct the urgent repairs required to maintain BL924. In view of the Society’s undertaking to retain her existing livery as a memorial to Danish pilot Axel Svendsen of No 234 Squadron a change of ownership was agreed by the Museum and she was collected by the Society on 25th April 2013.
The initial repairs were completed by October 2015 to make Aksel safe and presentable for display to the public. This included changing the original wings, which were too heavy for Aksel to be displayed on the ground. She was originally designed to be suspended from the roof of a building and new lighter weight wings were commissioned to enable future ground displays. Since February 2016 she has been on static display at Beale Park in Berkshire.
Our campaign now is to complete the restoration process and weather proofing for the long term protection of the replica and enable her to continue to be displayed for all to visit and view.
Please donate towards this memorial to Aksel Andreas Svendsen, the young Danish RAF pilot. To find out more about Aksel Andreas Svendsen, please click here.
Digitisation of The Spitfire Society Archive and Library
We are currently in the process of digitising The Spitfire Society library and archives, which will become available to all our members and interested parties, upon request, via our Website. This is proving to be a long and expensive process as we have over 30 years of Journals, newsletters and a large collection of archive material. This valuable information will greatly enhance our ability to assist with research and historical referencing projects for many years in the future. The digitisation of The Spitfire Society archive and library will cost in the region of £5,000.
Your generous donations will enable us to complete this project, thereby preserving all of The Spitfire Society's publications and archive for future generations.