The Potteries Museum & Art Gallery

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Callum Dickson visits the museum in Stoke-on-Trent, where a new exhibit emphasises the link between the city and the most iconic fighter of World War Two

SPITFIRE RW388 IN ITS NEW HOME IN THE CENTRE OF THE MUSEUM'S EXTENSION
ALL IMAGES VIA THE POTTERIES MUSEUM & ART GALLERY

Arguably the most memorable aeroplane of World War Two – one that came to represent British resolve – the Spitfire has its origins in the heart of the West Midlands, from the brilliant mind of lead Supermarine designer Reginald Joseph Mitchell.

As a way of thanking the city of his birth, in 1972 the RAF gifted a Mk.XVI Spitfire to Stoke-on-Trent. Last year, plans were made to rehouse the aircraft in a new exhibit that opened in September – and its future seems bright.

RJ Mitchell was born in Staffordshire on May 20, 1895 and eventually became lead designer at the aviation pioneers Supermarine, where he showed great promise designing its initial claim to fame: seaplanes. He was the brains behind the widely successful S6 and S6.B development culminating in winning the coveted 1931 Schneider Trophy and the breaking of various speed records.

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