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Thank You NHS Spitfire Soars Through Highland Perthshire’s Skies

Photo: George Lewis Romain

Shooting over Britain’s hospitals yesterday, the ‘Thank U NHS Spitfire PL983 ‘L’ danced over crowds cheering on pilot John Romain.

Perth Royal Infirmary was the first to watch the plane race through the sky bearing its proud message under its belly, followed by the Murray Royal Hospital around twenty-five past ten in the morning.

After doing up and testing a spitfire at his family run company, aircraft restoration company, pilot and managing director, John Romain, said: “The response to our initial flight over the last 8pm #clapforourcarers Thursday was incredibly humbling, with hundreds of people from the local community sharing how wonderful it was to not only see the Spitfire, but also to read the message emblazoned across its wings.”

This was when they decided that all of the NHS deserved a celebration and effort to raise money for its numerous charities.

John Romain added: “After such positive response we decided to leave the message painted on the Spitfire for the rest of the flying season, this is where the idea to hand write the names of the nation’s loved ones onto the aircraft to raise money for the NHS Charities Together began.”

So far the campaign #NHSSpitfire has raised £87,000 and Mr Romain says there’s even more raised through gift aid.

It’s been a very simple model, ‘one donation = one name nominated’ which inscribes the plane with the names of donors.

One donation is worth a minimum of £10 and with well over four thousand names cast, the campaign is off to a good start.

Today is the final day in the three-day flight, starting in Derry the flight will pass over Ireland, Wales before the plane returns to England.

Photographer Craig Chalmers was in Dundee to capture some shots of the plane passing overhead.

His fiancé works in Ninewells hospital in the high dependency in one of the frontline services as a healthcare worker in the high dependency unit.

For Craig Chalmers, this was an important moment explaining: “It tipped its wings and came over the hospital, which I think a lot of people, including myself, found quite poignant.

“In todays analogy, its maybe the same size as small Cessna plane you see people taking flying lessons in.”

But the message goes beyond just ‘Thank U NHS’, Mr Chalmers continued: “With this week being the tie in with the battle of Britain as well; the 80th anniversary.

“I think it was incredible that it just tied in as a thank you to the few of the NHS who have done so much for so many throughout this pandemic.”

Follow the link to donate towards #NHSSpitfire: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/nhsspitfire

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