Those gearing up to visit a pub in England this weekend are advised to expect changes, but visitors to the Selsey Arms in West Sussex will be treated to another surprise: a Spitfire.
Kenny Easton, who manages the pub in Coolham, has kept himself busy during lockdown. In addition to his pub’s already large RAF memorabilia collection, he has built a full-size Vickers Supermarine Spitfire (MK IX) replica to greet his guests.
Easton, who runs the pub with partner Belinda Grover, has positioned the plane, which has a wingspan of over 10-metres, in the pub garden.
There is already a memorial plaque dedicated to 15 airmen who were killed at the nearby Coolham Airfield during WWII.
Commenting on his feat of engineering, Easton 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 WWII 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.
“With reopening on the horizon, we’re very excited to welcome back our customers and we’re already planning to celebrate the unveiling of our Spitfire with a WW2-era themed fancy-dress party a bit later in the year.”
The pub will reopen on 4 July with social distancing in place, as per government guidelines.