HomeAbout UsMembershipNews & EventsSpitfireShop

Battle of Britain film festival - 15 September 2019

Welcome to the launch of The Battle of Britain film festival at the Chequer Mead Theatre in East Grinstead on Sunday 15 September 2019. The venue is centrally located by car and public transport. The closest rail station is East Grinstead. The Theatre has a bar and food is available. The event will start at 9am and finish at 5pm. Further details and how to book tickets can be found by clicking here.  Tickets are now available online and over the telephone.

Profits from the event will be donated equally between the Queen Victoria Hospital Charity and The Spitfire Society Spitfire Fund. Queen Victoria Hospital pioneered the treatment of burned aircrew during the Second World War and these patients became known as the Guinea Pig Club.  The Hospital remains a centre of reconstructive treatments and funds generated will assist with research and support to patients and staff now and in the future.  Donations to the Spitfire Fund will pay for the restoration of a Spitfire replica as a permanent memorial to a Danish Spitfire pilot that was killed during the War in defence of Worldwide freedom.

Spitfire Society pint glass


Tickets can be purchased in advance or on the door but there is limited number of spaces and we would recommend booking ahead of the event. If for any reason the event doesn't go ahead or a film can't be shown a full refund will be given to the ticket holder as appropriate.

Ticket Prices

  • Individual film ticket - £5.50
  • Individual film & presentations ticket - £11
  • Individual two films & presentations ticket - £13.50
  • Individual all day & presentations ticket - £16
  • Family all day ticket for 2 children and two adults - £49

All Day Ticket Holders Receive The Following:

  • Complimentary Society pint glass.
  • All screenings throughout the day for no additional charge.
  • Presentations and book signing opportunity with Dr Emily Mayhew and Vice-President Paul Beaver.
  • Supporters badge

Spitfire film poster

9.15am - Spitfire: Inspiration of a Nation (2018) - PG

SPITFIRE is a cinematic, epic, sweeping tale of determination, vision and courage. It is the story of an aeroplane that was forged in competition, shaped as the war clouds gathered and refined in the white heat of combat – going on to become the most famous fighter aircraft ever made.

Credited with changing the course of world history, this is the Spitfire’s story – told personally in the words of the last-surviving combat veterans. Through their recollections, we experience the terror and exhilaration of combat five miles up, the sudden loss of friends and the grim determination to see the job through.

Breath-taking aerial footage from the world’s top aviation photographer John Dibbs is combined with rare digitally re-mastered archive film from the tumultuous days of the 1940s, when the Spitfire’s power in the skies was unrivalled. A beautiful original score from composer Chris Roe, and the roar of the famous Merlin engine, creates an incredible soundscape to make this a striking and poignant film.

McIndoe statue

Civic Dedication at the McIndoe Statue

Civic Dedication at the McIndoe Statue and reception at Sackville College.

Lancaster Skies poster

12.30pm - Lancaster Skies (2019) - PG

‘Lancaster Skies’ is a loving homage to the classic British war films of the 1940’s and 50’s. The production team set about the creative process with those gems from the past firmly in mind. With the total budget for the film set at only £80k, the small production team knew that the visual element of the film was going to prove very challenging indeed. In keeping with the retrospective look and feel of the film scale models were used for the majority of the visual effects. Digital effects were deliberately kept to a bare minimum. The result is a film set during the Second World War with the power to make an audience feel that they have been transported back to the art deco picture houses of the past. ‚Äč

Douglas Miller, a broken, solitary, Spitfire ace, who survived the Battle of Britain, transfers to Bomber Command, determined to take the war to the skies over Nazi Germany. Douglas must take the place of a Lancaster Bomber crew's cherished and respected skipper, who was killed in action. With the crew against him, he must gain their trust and overcome his past to become the leader they so desperately need.

Paul Beaver

2.45pm - Presentations & book signing

Presentations by Dr Emily Mayhew on the Guinea Pig Club, story of the pilots treated for burns at the Queen Victoria Hospital in East Grinstead.  Vice-President Paul Beaver on the role of Fleet Air Arm pilots in the Battle of Britain.

Both authors will be available for book signings and their respective books will be available for purchase on the day.

Secret Spitfires film poster

3.45pm - The Secret Spitfires (2018) - PG

In 1940, the Germans destroyed the Spitfire factories in Southampton and believed they had ended the threat from their nemesis. But unknown to them, the British were building Spitfires in secret. Salisbury, a small market town in the south of England become a major centre for manufacturing Spitfires, hidden in sheds, garages, back gardens, a bus depot and a hotel. With a workforce mainly made up of unskilled young girls, boys, women and a handful of engineers, over 2000 Spitfires were built, 10% of the total build, becoming instrumental in winning the war.

Witnesses tell the story of this amazing achievement, recounting times of terrible sadness as well as joyous times that included GI dances, a Glenn Miller concert and a Joe Louis boxing match. Set against a backdrop of picturesque English countryside, we talk to 90 year old veterans who as teenagers built the aircraft in their local villages and towns, and we hear from modern-day fighter pilots for whom the Spitfire holds a special place in history. This incredible story concludes with Dame Vera Lynn reciting a moving poem written by a Spitfire pilot.