10:57AM, Friday 06 September 2013
Home secretary Theresa May had a taste of what it was like to be one of 'the few' when she took the controls of a Spitfire, writes James Pidduck.
The Maidenhead MP was visiting the town's heritage centre on Saturday to see its Grandma Flew Spitfires exhibition about the work of the Air Transport Auxiliary (ATA) at White Waltham in World War II.
She took flight in the exhibition’s Spitfire simulator, flying from White Waltham, over Dorney Lake and Windsor Castle, before a descent at Heathrow airport.
“The experience of the simulator brings it home to you what a magnificent job the Spitfire pilots did, with others, to keep Britain safe,” she said.
“ I would encourage everyone to visit in order to learn more about Maidenhead’s heritage and have a go on the simulator!”
Chairman Richard Poad, who assisted Mrs May on her flight, said she was a great pupil and praised her ability to learn quickly.
“But then she has plenty of practise speed reading the contents of her ministerial red boxes!” he said.
Based in White Waltham, the ATA includes many female pilots. It's tasks included transporting military aircraft and workers as well as air ambulance duties.
Top Ten Articles
Two men suffered stab wounds - with one in a serious condition in hospital - after an incident of grievous bodily harm in Maidenhead early this morning (Saturday).
A new era is on the horizon for Maidenhead as the state-of-the-art Braywick Leisure Centre opens this weekend, but the move will see the town wave goodbye to a key part of its history after 45 years.