If you go down to your local pub on 4 July, you’re probably not expecting to see a full size replica Spitfire.
Coolham locals returning to community favourite, the Selsey Arms, on Saturday 4 July will be greeted with a full-sized Vickers Supermarine Spitfire (MK IX) replica to add to the pub’s already vast memorabilia collection. The model has been the passion project of publican, Kenny Easton, during lockdown, who runs the pub with his partner Belinda Grover.
With a wingspan of over 10m, the Spitfire is hard to miss in its pride of place next to the WWII memorial already in the pub garden. The site includes a memorial plaque, that the Coolham community added to the existing memorial last year, commemorating the 15 airmen that lost their lives at nearby Coolham Airfield during World War II.
Now, as the Selsey Arms prepares to reopen, Kenny and Belinda are planning an official unveiling of the Spitfire with the rest of the Coolham community. Kenny said, “Since taking over the Selsey Arms two years ago Belinda and I have been determined to showcase the historical importance of Coolham and its airfield, that still functions today as RAF Coolham. We have collected a lot of memorabilia that we display proudly in the pub and the Spitfire model is a happy new addition. Not everyone knows about the vital role our little airfield played in WWII and we hope to do our bit by keeping the memory of that time alive – especially as the Selsey Arms would have been many of those young men’s local.
“With reopening on the horizon, we’re very excited to welcome back our customers and we’re already planning to celebrate the unveiling of our Spitfire with a WWII-era themed fancy-dress party a bit later in the year.”
The Selsey Arms will reopen on Saturday (4 July) with clear social distancing measures and enhanced cleaning regimes in place. Kenny and Belinda are focused on the safety of both their staff and customers and will be adhering to government guidance regarding the safe reopening of their business.
You can see the Spitfire and have a pint at The Selsey Arms, Cowfold Road, Coolham, Horsham, West Sussex RH13 8QJ.
Can't get to the newsagents for your copy of The Armourer? Order it online (now with free postage!) or take out a subscription and avoid the general public for the next 12 months entirely. And if you're confined to quarters, stock up on some bookazines to keep you entertained.
Buy the latest copy or any back issues, either in print or digital editions by clicking on The Armourer.
Buy a copy of Aircraft of the RAF, featuring 595 flying machines, for £7.99 by clicking here.
Or how about a copy of the Collecting German Militaria bookazine? Click here to buy this.
And we still have a few copies of 100 Years of the RAF 1918-2018 left as well.