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Spitfire Lawn attracts tea-time treats

RIAT 2013

Visitors to this summer’s Royal International Air Tattoo will have the opportunity to enjoy some tea-time treats courtesy of one of the unsung heroines of the Battle of Britain and a popular TV presenter.

The airshow is inviting guests in its new Spitfire Lawn enclosure to join World War Two pilot Joy Lofthouse and BBC TV Countryfile presenter Adam Henson, both from the Cotswolds, for afternoon tea. Joy will be in the enclosure on Saturday, July 20 and Adam on Sunday, July 21.

As a member of the Air Transport Auxiliary (ATA), plucky Joy Lofthouse became one of a forgotten army of women during World War Two who flew Spitfires to the front line ready to join the action.

Known affectionately as ‘Attagirls’, the women from the Air Transport Auxiliary delivered more than 308,000 aircraft from factories to airfields, also returning damaged aircraft for repair. Sometimes the ‘Attagirls’ would be given only 30 minutes with a handbook before taking off in an unfamiliar plane. Losses were considerable, with one in six becoming a casualty at one stage.

Joy joined the ATA in 1943 along with her sister Yvonne after they spotted an advert in a flying magazine. Together, they went on to fly 18 different RAF aircraft during the war, delivering them to airbases throughout Britain. But it was the Spitfire which rekindled their fondest memories.

Joy said: “I can’t wait to see displays by some of the aircraft I flew during World War Two as well as their modern day counterparts. When I learned the Air Tattoo had established a new Spitfire Lawn I really wanted to be a part of it.”

On Sunday, July 21, visitors will be able to enjoy afternoon tea in the Spitfire Lawn with popular TV presenter Adam Henson.
Adam said: “I’m looking forward to a thrilling time out at one of the UK’s greatest outdoor events. I hope people will join me on Sunday for afternoon tea and cakes in the Spitfire Lawn, for a taste of the Cotswolds you may never have savoured before.”
The new Spitfire Lawn enclosure offers visitors unobstructed views of the world famous seven-hour flying display and savour afternoon tea in a setting reminiscent of an English country garden. To find out more about the Spitfire Lawn and how to buy tickets, visit

Explore Gloucestershire
16 April 2013                                                                   

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