Monday, 25 May 2015

Dowding Memorial + random garden Spitfire IX

Today myself and A were off work due to the bank holiday. The soon to be in-laws had came up on Sunday for the night and we took them part way home via Moffat then Gretna in the Scottish Borders.

Moffat is one of those Scottish Border towns with a lot of local history. One thing I was aware of from visits as a kid was that one of the public parks has a memorial to Air Chief Marshal Hugh 'Stuffy' Dowding - the architect of Fighter Commands success during the Battle of Britain. Dowding was commander of Fighter Command from July 1936 until November 1940.

As it turns out, Dowding was born in Moffat and lived there for his first 15 years, before moving away.

The memorial is smart, and in decent condition. There are park benches around it and when we visited there were families playing around the area. 

While walking from the car on the way into the town my Wife-to-be pointed out what she thought was a 'plane in someones garden. As it turns out...

It was! This was within maybe 100 yards of the Dowding memorial. There was a small collection box for an RAF charity and a notice giving some info on the aircraft:

This is a replica of a Spitfire IX that had been stored at the (relatively) nearby Dumfries RAF base in 1944 and had later been flown by the Italian and Israeli air forces.

In Moffat I also spotted a book shop with some decent Military History books, including a period history of the 15th Scottish Division during WW2. It was £35, so a little more than I could get away with spending (with A in tow, anyway! - we have a wedding or something to pay for, apparently..).

So, an interesting day out - although Gretna was boring as hell!


  1. Gretna has never been interesting. :)

    Very nice find. I had no idea Dowding was Scottish, let alone there being a memorial to the chap.

    1. No, I particularly loathe retail outlets. At least pre diet there were discount sweet shops, now there is literally nothing there of any interest to me.

      On the plus side, 11lbs lost in the last 3 weeks!

  2. There's a part of me that dimly remembers driving past a spitfire in someone's garden down in Cornwall once. Hmm...

    Oh, and congrats on the weight loss!

    1. Thanks Drax! A quick google reveals a Multitude of people with Spitfires in their gardens... I've always been more of a Hurricane fan myself.

  3. Absolutely fecking ace Jamiester! He was a very interesting guy. I remember seeing signs down that way to aircraft stuff but didn't know he was from there. Need to get down there for a look. A very interesting and important guy, claimed to be visited by dead pilots regularly.

    1. Thanks Paul - I had read about him being heavily into mediums and believing that 'his' dead pilots would visit him. He was very popular with his pilots by all accounts, and seemed to lose his job more through politics than anything else. The museum in Dumfries is worth a look. Hoping to do some more aircraft museums when I'm on holiday in a few weeks.


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