HEAVY WORK: The WWII Spitfire replica will be installed outside Diamond Harbour cafe.
Diamond Harbour cafe to get Spitfire ABBIE NAPIER Last updated 07:42 19/02/2014
When Jean Richards came home to find her husband building a life-size model of a Spitfire in her Ashburton lounge, she was not the least bit surprised. It covered most of two rooms and relied on a large portion of the lounge furniture to prop it up.
Graham Richards, now retired, is a bit of an inventor, a craftsman and an entrepreneur. It is not unusual for him to be tinkering in the shed or building something in the yard. Now living in Diamond Harbour, Richards used a tractor and a team of helpers yesterday to tow the completed body of his Spitfire from his home up on the hill, down to Chalfont Cafe.
Jean may be a tolerant wife, but a life-size Spitfire as a permanent fixture in their front yard was probably a stretch. At the cafe, it will be on display for anyone to admire. The move took a few hours and required some careful manoeuvring up a dirt track and down a steep road to the cafe.
It was Richards' first life-size model. "The Spitfire is quite a talking point as an aircraft," he said. "It was taking up our whole garage though." It was built 48 times larger than a model Richards used as a scale. It weighed half a tonne and was built from metal, plastic and wood, complete with fitted-out cockpit.
The initials on the side stand for his full name, Edward Graham Richards, with British tail colours.
Chalfont was installing the model as a stationary sculpture where it could be viewed up close. The wings and remaining fixtures would be fitted on site.
We had a fly past, and a circuit or two by a Chevrolet engine, 90% Spitfire, at the wings and Wheels at Darfield, last Sunday, followed by a similar display by P-51, ZK-TAF, and the Spitfire gave a good display with a very passable sound too, neither aircraft was able to stay, I think Charlie has shortened his strip, well you don't need much for a Auster. isc