Last Updated: 10 August 2018
Created: 10 August 2018
Artwork showcasing Swindon’s vital contribution to the Second World War has been unveiled by North Swindon MP Justin Tomlinson at the Orbital Shopping Park.
This year is the 100th anniversary of the Royal Air Force, and to mark the occasion artwork and information boards have been installed at the Orbital Shopping Park, telling people about Swindon’s distinguished aviation history.
The centrepiece of the artwork is a sculpture of a Spitfire wing, celebrating the fact that the planes were built at a shadow Supermarine factory at South Marston during the war. There the planes were then tested on the nearby runway – which is now the Honda test track – after which they were flown to airfields across the country.
The sculpture was made by local artist Mike Pringle, who was recommended to the Orbital by Justin.
Visitors to the shopping park can also see special paving stones with designs themed around flying and aviation, as well as information boards charting Swindon’s aviation history.
In addition to unveiling the recent artwork, earlier this year Justin opened the new children’s playpark at the Orbital. The new playground includes climbing frames in the shape of a plane and airfield watch tower.
Justin Tomlinson MP said: “The Spitfire is generally regarded as one of the most important pieces of British engineering, and I am incredibly proud of Swindon’s contribution to its production. The artwork is a fantastic way to celebrate this history – as well as honour the pilots whose contribution was pivotal to winning the war.”