The Secret Spitfires

In 1940, the Germans succeeded in destroying the Spitfire factories in Southampton, believing that in doing so they’d put an end to the threat from their nemesis. But unknown to them, the British decided to build Spitfires in secret…

With a workforce mainly made up of unskilled young girls, boys, women, elderly men and a handful of engineers, around 2,500 Spitfires were built in cities and rural towns in southern England, hidden in sheds, garages, back gardens, a bus depot and even a hotel.

The story behind this amazing achievement is revealed in a new film, The Secret Spitfires, which has its East Midlands pre-release screening at the National Civil War Centre in Newark on Friday 24 November.

Set against a backdrop of picturesque English countryside, it features tales of terrible sadness along with more joyous moments shared by GIs and the RAF pilots who fly the iconic Spitfires today, a Glen Miller concert and a Joe Louis boxing match.

Concluding with a moving poem written by a Spitfire pilot, read by Vera Lynne, this screening starts at 7pm. Tickets are £10 each and are available online or by calling 07746 576521 – for a taste of what’s in store, watch the film trailer here…

Everyone Can-Do!

can doIf you’ve ever fancied having a go at making your own films, this week’s guest is here to tell you how you can – with just a smart phone or an iPad!

Gillian Bates will be in the studio with the Girls Around Town to talk about how she and George Bassett set up Can-Do Film back in 2014 to encourage the development and creation of great low and no budget film on both a regional and national scale.

can do 2She’ll have news of upcoming workshops in and around Nottinghamshire. Whether you want to start with just the basics and Make A Movie In A Day or delve a little deeper over two days, you’ll have the opportunity to shoot and edit your own short film. No iPad? No worries – you can even borrow one for the course!

Gillian will also be talking about the first Can-Do Film Festival in 2015, plans for the next one in 2017 and their two pop-up cinemas – one in a converted VW camper and the other in a velvet-walled marquee with vintage cinema seats – which are available to hire for screenings at events.

Join Gillian, June and Tina on air or listen online from 10am to 12 noon on Sunday. In the meantime, if you want to see the sort of thing you could achieve with Can-Do, why not take a look here at some of the films made by participants on previous courses?

What’s the connection?

mind, body, spirit and soul - word cloud on a  digital tabletTo mark the launch of Sue Cooper’s Community Health and Wellbeing initiative, Newark’s Balance Studio will be hosting a free screening of the film The Connection – Mind Your Body on Friday 24 April.

The film explores the direct connection between our minds and our bodies, showing how frontier research is proving that we have more influence on our health than we ever thought possible. It’s a must-see for anyone interested in finding out how we can benefit by integrating the latest science in mind-body medicine into our everyday lives…

Invited by the incoming High Sheriff of Nottinghamshire, Dr Jas Bilkhu, to support him in the local community as Health and Wellbeing Ambassador, Sue will be discussing her initiative for the year ahead.

The screening and discussion take place between 10am and 12 noon at the studio in Paxton’s Court. Refreshments will be provided; admission is free but a voluntary donation to Nottinghamshire Hospice is requested.

Places are limited and advance booking is essential – contact Philippa Burnett ( to make your reservation.