TV host Guy Martin unveils memorial to Spitfire pilot killed in Norfolk

TV presenter Guy Martin

TV presenter Guy Martin unveiled the silver spitfire's plaque at Langham Dome near Holt which was dedicated to Richard Younghusband who died while flying a spitfire over the dome in 1953. - Credit: Neil Didsbury

A dedication ceremony was held at a former Norfolk RAF base in memory of a pilot who was killed in 1953 when his Spitfire plane crashed.

The event was held on Saturday at Langham Dome, between Wells and Holt, and was centred around a full-sized silver replica of a Supermarine Spitfire, unveiled in August last year.

The silver spitfire at Langham Dome

TV presenter Guy Martin unveiled the silver spitfire's plaque at Langham Dome near Holt which was dedicated to Richard Younghusband who died while flying a spitfire over the dome in 1953. - Credit: Neil Didsbury

The Spitfire turns in the wind, with its nose angled down. 

“It’s quite a sight, it’s moved about 45 degrees this morning,” said senior co-ordinator at the dome Deborah Wilson. 

TV presenter Guy Martin

TV presenter Guy Martin unveiled the silver spitfire's plaque at Langham Dome near Holt which was dedicated to Richard Younghusband who died while flying a spitfire over the dome in 1953. - Credit: Neil Didsbury

A plaque at the replica’s foot was unveiled by TV presenter Guy Martin in memory of pilot Richard Younghusband.

The plaque at Langham, presented by Guy Martin

TV presenter Guy Martin unveiled the silver spitfire's plaque at Langham Dome near Holt which was dedicated to Richard Younghusband who died while flying a spitfire over the dome in 1953. - Credit: Neil Didsbury


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Words were also read out in front of an audience of 70 people by Professor Roger Bland, a lay minister in the Diocese of Norwich who is also former Keeper of the Department of Portable Antiquities and Treasure at the British Museum.

Professor Roger Bland

Words were read out in front of an audience of 70 people by lay minister Professor Roger Bland - Credit: Neil Didsbury

“It was really well-attended. We thought the weather would be really bad, but as it turned out, it was fairly OK,” said Ms Wilson.

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There had initially been some uncertainty among organisers over whether the event would be permitted to go ahead. 

Guy Martin chatting to 94-year-old Noel Dennis who flew spitfires from 1947-49

Guy Martin chatting to 94-year-old Noel Dennis who flew spitfires from 1947-49 - Credit: Neil Didsbury

Ms Wilson explained: “We actually had to get special permission from the cabinet office in order to go ahead with this. 

“It had all been arranged, and we thought we were going to have to cancel when Boris [Johnson] moved the date [of final coronavirus restrictions lifting] forward to July.”

“Our chairman, Patrick Allen, actually went to North Norfolk MP Duncan Baker to start with and then it ended up at the Cabinet Office."  

TV presenter Guy Martin

TV presenter Guy Martin unveiled the silver spitfire's plaque at Langham Dome near Holt which was dedicated to Richard Younghusband who died while flying a spitfire over the dome in 1953. - Credit: Neil Didsbury

Mr Baker tweeted a photo of himself and Mr Martin outside Langham’s Blue Bell pub, along with a caption stating that the dedication was “lovely”.

The interior of Langham Dome

The interior of Langham Dome - Credit: Neil Didsbury

The dome’s interior is one of the first examples of virtual technology, as moving images were projected within it to teach trainees how to shoot down enemy aircraft during the Second World War. 

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