Volunteers restoring Spitfire which could be seen on Google Earth
PUBLISHED: 14:28 30 October 2019 | UPDATED: 16:20 30 October 2019
Even through the grainy satellite picture, its iconic outline is unmistakable.
Google Earth users who chance across a Second World War Spitfire on the outskirts of a Norfolk village might be forgiven for wondering what it is doing there.
The answer leads to a unique collection of aircraft and memorabilia, mostly from the Second World War, tucked away behind a garden centre and retail park.
The replica fighter was being restored in the back garden of an aviation enthusiast, who lived in Heacham.
Paul Linsell obtained the full-sized fibreglass mock-up from the Imperial War Museum at Duxford seven years ago, after it was blown over and damaged in a storm.
In April, it was moved on loan to the Fenland and West Norfolk Aviation Museum on the outskirts of Wisbech, where volunteers are now refurbishing it.
"Paul at Heacham bought it and had it on his lawn but his wife got a bit cheesed off with it," said museum secretary Bill Welbourne.
"So he came to us to see if we'd have it on display."
Volunteer Barry Griggs was up a ladder repainting the camouflage on the 1940s warplane's nose.
"You're not going to turn down a Spitfire, are you?" he said.
Mr Welbourne added: "We've got a couple of crashed Spitfires in the museum, so it's a tribute to the pilots of those aircraft."
He said the centre hoped to have the aircraft completely restored over the winter while it is closed to visitors, ready to go on display when it reopens in March.
Other exhibits at the museum, on the Old Lynn Road, include a Cold War Lightning fighter which flew from RAF Coltishall, a De Havilland Vampire and the cockpit and sections of a Shackleton coastal reconaissance aircraft.
Inside there are engines, guns, wheels and countlesss other parts from some of the many aircraft which crashed in West Norfolk and the Fens during the Second World War.
"We started off as an aviation archaeology society," said retired engineer Mr Welbourne, 73. "But we got to the point where all this stuff was in people's sheds and garages, so we said we'd have to find somewhere to store it, or pack up."
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