Tangmere schoolgirl finds metal from World War Two aircraft in family allotment
A metal plate which was 'most likely' fitted to the propeller of a Hurricane or Spitfire aircraft has been found by a six-year-old girl at her family allotment in Tangmere.
Whilst digging on the family allotment behind the Tangmere Military Aviation Museum, Elsa Davis discovered a piece of bent metal.
Dad Ben, a marketing consultant, who had been weeding around by the sunflowers at the time, said both he and Elsa were fascinated to find out what had been unearthed.
He said: "Elsa wants to learn where food comes from and she dug her own little section in the allotment.
"We spent a lot of time on the allotment as a family, growing bits and bobs.
"Noticing some lettering we decided to give the scrap bit of metal a bit of a clean up under the tap and we revealed logo comprising of an old aircraft shape and the letters DH over the wings.
"Around the logo we could make out the words 'De Havilland - Controllable Pitch Airscrew'."
Ben said he searched for the sentence on Google my phone and subsequently found photos of World War Two warbirds.
He added: "Given the history of RAF Tangmere during World War Two we thought it would be interesting to try and find out what kind if aircraft it came from.
"We popped round to the museum and left it with the team there to investigate. We got a phone call from the curator at the museum and he said the wording on the manufacturer's plate as best it can be read appears to be; 'Made under one more of patent nos 168801 Hamilton standard'.
"The curator explained that there were three types of propeller; fixed pitch, variable pitch (or controllable pitch) and constant speed. [He said] the plate most likely was fitted to the propeller of a Hurricane or Spitfire but could been fitted to other types of aircraft."
Ben said Elsa, along with her younger sister Chloe, enjoyed two visits to the museum learning about Spitfire and Hurricane aircraft and RAF Tangmere's important role during World War Two along with the 'incredibly brave men and women who fought for the freedoms we enjoy today'.
The museum told Ben and Elsa that it wouldn't be able to accept the metal as a donation, as it couldn't specify the exact aircraft due to the erosion of the serial number.
Elsa is now looking forward to telling her schoolmates and teachers at Tangmere Primary Academy about her exciting experience.
"The classrooms [at the school] are named after the aircrafts and it is linked with the history of Tangmere," Ben said.
"Elsa is going into Hunter class and we learnt about the Hawker Hunter [aircraft] at the museum.
"For her to be there with me was a great experience for her and also gave us the desire to go to the museum to learn about RAF Tangmere during World War Two."