September 29th, 2016

A special birthday visitor

Updated: 10:19 am, May 07, 2015

A SPITFIRE took to the sky to celebrate a Redditch manufacturing company’s 75th birthday.

About 3,000 employees and their families attended Mettis Aerospace’s open day on August 23 to mark the milestone.

The day also saw static aircraft displays, an exhibition on the company’s history and a fun day at the HDA Sports and Social Club in Batchley.

Mettis, which was formerly the HDA, began in October 1938 commissioned by Colonel Wallace Charles Devereaux who chose Redditch as the most suitable site to expand the company’s operations.

During the Second World War the site took responsibility for the majority of Britain’s aero-engine pistons producing over 10million components.

In 1945 the development of the jet engine shaped the company’s future and the by the 70s and 80s the company no longer focused solely on aerospace and forged aluminium wheels in 1982 for Richard Noble’s Thrust 2 World Speed Record car, which accelerated up to 650mph.

The firm was awarded the Queen’s Award for Export Achievement in 1999 and as the millennium dawned the site was purchased by the Mettis Group and shortly followed by the relocation of Marlyn Precision to the borough.

A spokeswoman from Mettis said: “The Mettis Platinum Jubilee event was a resounding success with thousands of people in attendance to celebrate the site’s 75th Anniversary marking our many achievements over the years.

“It was a fantastic opportunity for the family and friends of staff to see first-hand what we do here at Mettis, and an experience truly valued by our retired employees who were invited along.”

She added in addition to the celebrations they also ran a raffle on behalf of Primrose Hospice.

Carol Giles has a chat to a suspicious-looking female pilot. 3514008ABR5

Lilly Jones, 6, get to take a seat in the full size Hurricane model plane. 3514008ABR3

Visitors were treated to a Spitfire display. Picture by Alex Bradbury 3514008ABR8