Swindon Stitch and Bitch Salute the RAF with a Knitted Spitfire

Swindon Stitch and Bitch Salute the RAF with a Knitted Spitfire

Swindon Stitch and Bitch

Saluting the RAF with a Knitted Spitfire

Swindon Stitch and Bitch Salute the RAF with a Knitted Spitfire

Swindon Stitch and Bitch Salute the RAF with a Knitted Spitfire

knitted spitfire

Knitted Spitfire

Swindon Stitch and Bitch have been working away on a knitted Spitfire display to celebrate and commemorate the RAF Centenary and for the British Legion Poppy appeal.


The display was installed today at the Swindon Museum and Art Gallery in Old Town, between the reception desk and the gallery entrance. The display itself is a spitfire with a plume of poppies in the jet stream that swirls over the corridor and down the wall, as if the spitfire has swooped by. Tracey Major from Swindon Stitch and Bitch said that the group wanted to create something spectacular for the RAF Centenary, “we always commemorate remembrance Sunday with a poppy display, and with it being 100 years of the RAF we wanted to knit their most iconic aircraft, and have the poppies all tumbling out of the back in a wave to create a waterfall effect.”

The spitfire itself was knitted by one lady, Eileen Ashmore who said, “once I’d figured out how I was going to make it came together alright; and I’m really pleased with how it looks.”

The spitfire is knitted, and the stuffing and structure is achieved with balsa wood and bubble wrap. Eileen said, “the bubble wrap was great when you were shaping the aircraft, because if it looked a bit big, you just had to pop a few of the bubbles.”

The jetstream out the back of the plane is made with a length of silver chiffon. Over 400 poppies were used to decorate the fabric. Tracey Major explained that the members of the group had helped in the making of the poppies for the museum display, and for two other poppy displays that the group have in the pipeline.

The display looks amazing and will be hanging around until the end of the month, so if you are in Old Town, do a quick flyby.


See also the Big Knit at Orbital 

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30th August 2016

We’re gonna make you a Starr!

I share a birthday with Harold Starr! On Thursday the 8th of September I’ll be 60 years old. And it’s thanks to Harold and his ilk that I’m here to celebrate that milestone. So when I raise a glass to toast my birthday I’ll raise one to toast Harold and his brother too. Starrs in every sense of the word!

Starr Brothers Blue Plaques

‘Two of Swindon’s bravest sons were honoured on Thursday 8th Sept 2016 when the Swindon Heritage Team www.swindonheritage.com unveiled not one but two commemorative Starr Brothers Blue Plaques in the heart of the town. 

Brothers Harold Starr and Norman ‘John’ Starr entered this world in the Central Hotel, Regent Street, Swindon. The hotel was replaced with a cinema in the 1930s and today the Art Deco building houses the popular Weatherspoon’s pub, The Savoy.

As soon as www.jdwetherspoon.com were approached about the idea of having blue plaques on The Savoy they immediately said yes and have been assisting with logistics ever since.

Starr Brothers Blue Plaques
The Starr Brothers

Squadron Leader Harold Starr (1914 – 1940)

Squadron Leader Harold Starr was born and raised in Swindon. He bailed out of his burning Hurricane during the Battle of Britain in 1940. But a Messerschmitt gunned him down as he floated down to earth in his parachute. His wife was carrying their unborn child.

Harold Starr lies in Radnor St Cemetery in Swindon in a Commonwealth War Grave. He was 25 years old.

Here’s a young and handsome Harold on his wedding day:

old photograph of Harold Starr
Harold Starr on his wedding day

Wing Commander Norman John Starr DFC and BAR (1917 – 1945)

Like Harold, Norman was born and raised in Swindon. The 27 year old Norman’s fate was being shot down and killed whilst piloting an Avro Anson over Dunkirk in 1945. He was flying back to England to marry his sweetheart the following day.

Norman lies along with his three crew members in Dunkirk Town Cemetery in a Commonwealth War Grave.

Further Information about Harold Starr

Read more about Harold Starr here: https://swindonian.me/2015/07/11/harold-starr-one-of-the-few/ and here: https://swindonian.me/2015/09/16/swindon-remembers-the-few/

Read the Swindon Link magazine article about the Spitfire sculpture proposed for the Orbital Centre in Swindon: http://swindonlink.com/2016/08/spitfire-sculpture-at-orbital-shopping-park-to-celebrate-swindon-aviation-heritage/

And read the post about it here on Born again Swindonian. And note that the Starr brothers get a feature in Secret Swindon.