JUST like a plane tumbling down to earth after being riddled with bullets, earlier this year the outlook for a film about how Trowbridge residents played their part in defeating Adolf Hitler by building Spitfires, was bleak.

For more than two years, historian Norman Parker, archivist Gary Roberts and director Ethem Cetintas had worked to compile information and archive footage telling how the iconic fighter planes were built in the county town and across the county.

But they still had a mountain to climb as they were several thousand pounds away from their £5,700 target to get the Secret Spitfire documentary finished, DVD copies produced for sale and to pay copyright fees.

“There were many times when we were so disappointed at the lack of interest in this story we thought so much of,” said Mr Cetintas.

“We now know that a lot of it stemmed from disbelief, as what we were claiming had not been widely documented.”

The turn of the tide came when the Wiltshire Times covered the story in July and in a short period, the funds were finally raised. The story was then featured in national newspapers and finally the film was shown in cinemas in Trowbridge, Salisbury, Southampton and Reading.

“Many people started championing the story, such as 95-year-old Joyce Hunt who was a riveter at the town’s old Newman Hender factory, along with the Wiltshire Times which was the first paper to support it,” he said.

“I have to pinch myself at times. We have come a long way in the last six months. Norman started it all off. He lived through it and has researched it all his life. Gary then contacted me and the rest is history.”

Now the team want to show the film in more schools and explain just how important people in Trowbridge and other areaswere to the war effort.

“This has been the best gift I could have asked for. We went to some schools before and the reaction was superb. We want to make this film available for education,” said Mr Cetintas. “We want to set up an archive so people can access this footage. It is so exciting.”