In partnership with

Merlins Over Malta Events

The Imperial War Museum in partnership with Merlins Over Malta

present

Merlins Over Malta Day

 

 

Click for a larger image - The RAF at War team - Photo courtesy of RAF at WarThe 9th of May started with some very non Maltese weather. The skies were grey and overcast, but this didn't dampen anyone's spirits. The Merlins Over Malta Day at Duxford was underway! The eastern end of Hangar 4 were transformed into a little corner of Malta, with stands and displays from The Spitfire Society, The Hurricane Society, The Blenheim Society, CCB Aviation, The Malta Aviation Museum, FlyPast, The Hornchurch Wing of the Purfleet Heritage Centre The Battle for Malta Veteran's Reunion, the Maltese Cultural Society and of course Merlins Over Malta in the north side of Hangar 4, while the south side was transformed into the theatre area for the various presentations, the Cambridge Youth Band and book signings by James Holland. Outside, a Maltese airfield appeared courtesy of the Historic aircraft Collection's Spitfire and newly refurbished Hurricane and the RAF atClick for a larger image - Ken Ellie and Dr George Bonello Du Puis War team.

The event was officially opened by His Excellency Dr George Bonello Du Puis, the Maltese High Commissioner. He took to the stage and told the audience of his experiences as a boy in Malta during the siege.
 


"I do not remember fear, but I do remember hunger" - Dr George Bonello Du Puis



Next to take to the stage was the Merlins Over Malta team to introduce the project and the days events. The emotion and the drive behind the project became evident as the presentation progressed. Following the Merlins Over Malta talk, renowned Artist, Gerald Coulson officially unveiled his latest piece of work - "Merlins Over Malta". This oil painting depicts the Malta Aviation Museum's Hurricane Z3055 HA-E and HAC's Hurricane 'Z5410' HA-C over the island of Malta. More details of this fabulous painting will be available soon.

Click for a larger image - Muriel PavlowThe lovely Muriel Pavlow, not a Malta veteran, but a veteran of "The Malta Story" took to the stage for an interview with Ken Ellis. Muriel Played Maria Gonzar in "The Malta Story" that was filmed on the Island in 1953 along side Sir Alec Guinness. She talked about this role and one of her other famous roles playing Thelma Bader along side Kenneth More in "Reach for the Sky".

After Muriel Pavlow, a Modern day Spitfire pilot took to the stage. Charlie Brown took the audience for a virtual ride around the circuit in both the Spitfire and the Hurricane. Charlie passed the stage over to the first of the Malta Veterans. Wg Cdr Tom Neil DFC AFC who flew in both the Battle of Britain and the Battle of Malta was interviewed by James Holland, Author of "Fortress Malta" and the Merlins Over Malta historian.Click for a larger image - Hurricane XII 'Z5410' - Photo courtesy of www.duxford-update.info

Next on stage was someone who appears in James' book - Meme Cortis. This lady probably saw Malta at its very worst. Meme was a nurse at the Imtarfa hospital. She described her times on the wards of the hospital and praised everyone who she cared for.

Gp Capt Billy Drake DSO DFC* DFC (USA) finished off the talks with his recollections of Malta just before the Spitfire and Click for a larger image - SCRAMBLE - Photo courtesy of RAF at WarHurricane were transferred to the flight line. At 3:00 it became clear why. Enemy aircraft were heard approaching the airfield. The air raid sirens were sounded, the RAF pilots scrambled to the waiting aircraft and the aerial combat began! The weather was not good enough for an aerobatic display, but Clive Denney in the Spitfire and Charlie Brown in the Hurricane defended the airfield against the enemy attack in a pair of flat displays followed by some pairs passes over the field. Once the two aircraft were back on the ground, the rain started, but this did not deter people from crowding round the aircraft as they returned back to the exhibition area.

Click for a larger image - Spitfire VB BM597 - Photo courtesy of www.duxford-update.infoThe day was closed by a final performance of the Cambridge Youth Band.

We feel the day was a great success and we hope that everyone went away having learnt something about the great battle that took place on this tiny island in the middle of the Mediterranean.

Thank you once again for your support!
 

We would like to thank the following:

  • The Staff and Volunteers at the Imperial War Museum, Duxford
  • The Veterans who supported us on the day
  • Ken Ellis and all at FlyPast
  • UsedJag.com
  • RAF at War
  • Dr George Bonello Du Puis and the Maltese High Commission, London
  • Muriel Pavlow
  • John Romain and all the aircraft Restoration Company
  • The Historic aircraft Collection
  • Jeanne Frazer
  • James Holland
  • Gerald Coulson
  • The Spitfire Society
  • The Hurricane Society
  • The Blenheim Society
  • CCB Aviation
  • The Malta Aviation Museum
  • The Battle for Malta Veteran's Reunion
  • The Cambridge Youth Band
  • The Hornchurch Wing of the Purfleet Heritage Centre
  • The Malta Cultural Society
  • The Malta Tourism Authority
  • The Military Gallery
  • Musical Associates
  • Relevent Ltd
  • All the trade stands that came to support us on the day
  • Nortel Networks - Harlow
  • And of course everyone who visited us on the day

 

 

  Click here for a larger image

Come to Duxford on Sunday 9 May 2004 and meet some of the men who battled to save the George Cross Island.  Learn about what they and the Maltese people had to endure and get close to the aircraft that helped to win the battle for this small island in the Mediterranean.

 

The aim of the event being held at Duxford - which is not an air show - is to promote awareness of the epic siege of Malta,  to raise funds for the Merlins Over Malta project and to create an "up close and personal" day.  Considerable funds are needed to get the aircraft to Malta.  You can help by attending the event and donating to the fund or you can send donations using the donation form found on this website

 

 

The Island of Malta. Click for a larger imageThroughout the day there will be talks and signing sessions from Malta veterans and other people who have been a part of the island’s history.  The Merlins Over Malta team will talk about their project and how you can help make this project a success.  Re-enactors will be based outside hangar 4.  Come and see what conditions on a Maltese airfield were like.  Ask them questions about Malta, but be aware, they are on duty, so they may have to scramble at a moments notice.

 

Valetta Habour under attack. Click for a larger imageThe highlight of the day will be the simulated Maltese airfield attack and scramble and the following flying display from the Spitfire and Hurricane that will be going to Malta in 2005.  When they are not in the air, the aircraft will be located in the Merlins Over Malta exhibition area where you can get up close and personal with them.  Have you ever been around a Spitfire and Hurricane - to be able to smell the fumes and hear the roar of the Merlin engines coming to life?  Now’s your chance! On landing, they will be brought straight back to the exhibition area where you will be able to see – almost feel - what the aircraft are like when they are warm.

 

Every village in Malta has a band, so it is appropriate that the Cambridge Youth Concert Band will be onsite playing Maltese music for the day.

 The Jaguar Formula 1 racing car that will be on show at the Merlins Over Malta day

The event is supported by FlyPast magazine, Usedjag.com, the Historic aircraft Collection and the aircraft Restoration Company.  On the day the Usedjag.com team will be bringing along a Jaguar Formula 1 car and other high tech concept cars for you to look at

 

Other supporters that will be in the exhibition area are:

 

Check back soon for further updates on this special event

 

STOP PRESS

Muriel Pavlow, Alec Guinness's co-star in the film The Malta Story will be appearing at the Merlins Over Malta Day on Sunday 9th May at the Imperial War Museum Duxford.  Miss Pavlow is also very well-know to the flying fraternity for her role as Douglas Bader's wife Thelma in the all-time classic British film Reach For the Sky.
 

Click here for a larger image Click here for a larger image
Muriel Pavlow & Alec Guinness
The Malta Story
Muriel Pavlow & Kenneth More
Reach For The Sky

Miss Pavlow is a keen supporter of the Merlins Over Malta campaign and will be interviewed about her roles in these classic films on the hangar 4 stage at the event on 9th May.
 

 

 

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