Just to let you know.
The 14th October 2012 marks the 70th anniversary of a spitfire which crashed in Birkenhead Park. On 14th October 1942 the American pilot, Douglas Cooper Goudie, flying for the Canadian Air Force, took off from RAF Hawarden on a test flight in a Mark 2a Spitfire. He got into difficulties over Liverpool and baled out, landing safely in Dingle with no more than a sprained ankle. His plane however continued over the Mersey coming to rest safely within Birkenhead Park in the field, near Park Road East, known as Night Pasture.
The crashing plane was seen and heard by many local residents and they quickly arrived at the crash site. All the above ground wreckage was removed. One of the children watching was Doug Darroch, senior. His lifelong ambition was to have the engine and remains excavated. This dream was realised in 2007 when the remains of the aircraft was excavated by the Warplane Wreck Investigation Group and they are now on display in Fort Perch Rock, New Brighton.
The anniversary will be marked by an exhibition in Birkenhead Park Visitor Centre from 13th to 21st October; a memorial service and a concert.
The memorial service on the site will be at 2.30pm on 14th October followed by light refreshments in the Birkenhead Branch of the Royal British Legion. The branch, the first in the country is close to the crash site.
The Royal Air Force Regiment Band will present a concert of music in the Floral Pavilion Theatre, New Brighton at 7.30pm on 14th October. This will be the first concert by an RAF band in the newly refurbished Floral Pavilion. The band performed this summer in the Edinburgh Tattoo and will play a variety of marches, swing, classical and popular music under the Director of Music Flight Lieutenant Matthew Little GTCL(Hons) LRSM DipTCL RAF.
All proceeds from the concert will go to the Royal British Legion Birkenhead Branch Poppy Appeal 2012. Tickets cost £12.00 and are available from the Floral Pavilion Theatre on 0151 666 0000 or www.floralpavilion.com
The pilot returned to USA after the war but his family are in touch with Fort Perch Rock and may attend the anniversary celebrations.
The events are being planned by Birkenhead branch of Royal British Legion, the Warplane Wreck Investigation Group, based at Fort Perch Rock, and Birkenhead Park. We are interested in any eye witness accounts of the plane crash.
For more information contact Birkenhead Park Visitor Centre on 0151 652 5197 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For information on RAF music go to www.raf.mod.uk/rafmusic