Pub landlord’s life-size Spitfire marks village’s wartime history
Visitors to a village pub in Coolham were greeted with an unusual sight when it reopened on Saturday.
Publican Kenny Easton who runs the Selsey Arms at Coolham with partner Belinda Grover - has built a life-sized replica of a Spitfire.
The full-sized Vickers Supermarine Spitfire MK IX replica is an addition to the pub’s already vast memorabilia collection.
The model has been Kenny’s passion project during lockdown. With a wingspan of over 10m, the Spitfire is hard to miss in its pride of place next to the WW11 memorial already in the pub garden.
The site includes a memorial plaque that the Coolham community added to the existing memorial last year, commemorating the 15 airmen that lost their lives at nearby Coolham Airfield during the Second World War.
Kenny said: “Since taking over the Selsey Arms two years ago Belinda and I have been determined to showcase the historical importance of Coolham and its airfield, that still functions today as RAF Coolham.
“We have collected a lot of memorabilia that we display proudly in the pub and the Spitfire model is a happy new addition.
“Not everyone knows about the vital role our little airfield played in WW2 and we hope to do our bit by keeping the memory of that time alive – especially as the Selsey Arms would have been many of those young men’s local.
“We’re very excited to welcome back our customers and we’re already planning to celebrate the unveiling of our Spitfire with a WW2era themed fancy-dress party a bit later in the year.”
The Selsey Arms reopened on Saturday (July 4) with social distancing measures and enhanced cleaning regimes in place.
Kenny and Belinda say they are focused on the safety of both their staff and customers and will be adhering to government guidance regarding the safe reopening of the pub.
Kenny Easton creating the Supermarine Spitfire MK IX replica