Login
Register
£0.00
0
£0.00
0

Our Story

Our story is a journey, a journey that starts with the writing of a children’s story book that would inspire the formation of Spitfire Heritage Trust that would deliver a Spitfire Tribute to Africa and on route create one of the finest gins in the world. In the spirit of the Spitfire created to be the best.

In early 2012 Ian Hewitt wrote The Ghost of Cameron Crowe a story of a Grandfather, his grandson and his secret Spitfire hidden out on the moss. Illustrated by Kayleigh Radcliffe the book has a heady quality best described as the dark side of Beatrix Potter.

The book was launched later that year at the Spirit of the Spitfire festival where Ian met David Spencer Evans the them Chairman of the Spitfire Society.


The Beginning

Our story is a journey, a journey that starts with the writing of a children’s story book that would inspire the formation of Spitfire Heritage Trust that would deliver a Spitfire Tribute to Africa and on route create one of the finest gins in the world. In the spirit of the Spitfire created to be the best.

In early 2012 Ian Hewitt wrote The Ghost of Cameron Crowe a story of a Grandfather, his grandson and his secret Spitfire hidden out on the moss. Illustrated by Kayleigh Radcliffe the book has a heady quality best described as the dark side of Beatrix Potter.

The book was launched later that year at the Spirit of the Spitfire festival where Ian met David Spencer Evans the them Chairman of the Spitfire Society.

Lesotho

It was here that David told Ian another story. The story of how the African Kingdom of Lesotho.

Lesotho is one of the heroes of the Second World War. In 1940 Britain was on the brink of invasion. At this critical time the Kingdom of Lesotho (formerly known as Basutoland) presented Britain with twenty-four Spitfire fighter aircraft, sufficient to equip two entire RAF squadrons.

This was a disproportionately generous contribution from a Commonwealth country the size of Wales with a population of only 400,000 people.

No. 72 (Basutoland) Squadron is one of the relatively few Second World War squadrons that are still in existence. vans the them Chairman of the Spitfire Society.

Lesotho

It was here that David told Ian another story. The story of how the African Kingdom of Lesotho.

Lesotho is one of the heroes of the Second World War. In 1940 Britain was on the brink of invasion. At this critical time the Kingdom of Lesotho (formerly known as Basutoland) presented Britain with twenty-four Spitfire fighter aircraft, sufficient to equip two entire RAF squadrons.

This was a disproportionately generous contribution from a Commonwealth country the size of Wales with a population of only 400,000 people.

No. 72 (Basutoland) Squadron is one of the relatively few Second World War squadrons that are still in existence. vans the them Chairman of the Spitfire Society.

Creating the Trust

Ian was one of those good punks in the 70s, he was into Rock Against Racism and the Anti Nazi League. Anyone who knows Ian will tell you that if Ian likes anything it is a campaign.

Inspired by the story of the Lesotho Spitfires Ian and David committed to pay tribute to and offer thanks on behalf of the rank and file of the British people to the people of Lesotho for their support. A rare example of international aid not being a one way street.

So the SPITFIRE HERITAGE TRUST was born….it’s mantra being that the Spitfire is much more than a vintage aircraft. It is a Great British icon that symbolises the coming together of all the nations of the Commonwealth, as we stood together in defence of our common human values and freedoms.

Creating the Trust

Ian was one of those good punks in the 70s, he was into Rock Against Racism and the Anti Nazi League. Anyone who knows Ian will tell you that if Ian likes anything it is a campaign.

Inspired by the story of the Lesotho Spitfires Ian and David committed to pay tribute to and offer thanks on behalf of the rank and file of the British people to the people of Lesotho for their support. A rare example of international aid not being a one way street.

And so the Trust was born….it’s mantra being that the Spitfire is much more than a vintage aircraft. It is a Great British icon that symbolises the coming together of all the nations of the Commonwealth, as we stood together in defence of our common human values and freedoms.

The Trust would become robustly engaged in the strengthening of links and the development of programs that create opportunities, educate, celebrate and give thanks to our Commonwealth family of nations, and to our shared values that transcend culture, religion and gender.

The more we told the story of Lesotho’s Spitfires the more people wanted to say thank you to Lesotho.

In 2014 and with the help of the children of Castle Vale we presented a Spitfire prop to the Lesotho High Commissioner in London.

The Trust would become robustly engaged in the strengthening of links and the development of programs that create opportunities, educate, celebrate and give thanks to our Commonwealth family of nations, and to our shared values that transcend culture, religion and gender.

The more we told the story of Lesotho’s Spitfires the more people wanted to say thank you to Lesotho.

In 2014 and with the help of the children of Castle Vale we presented a Spitfire prop to the Lesotho High Commissioner in London.

The Spitfire Heritage Trust would become robustly engaged in the strengthening of links and the development of programs that create opportunities, educate, celebrate and give thanks to our Commonwealth family of nations, and to our shared values that transcend culture, religion and gender.

The more we told the story of Lesotho’s Spitfires the more people wanted to say thank you to Lesotho.

In 2014 and with the help of the children of Castle Vale we presented a Spitfire prop to the Lesotho High Commissioner in London.

But there is only one pace that a Spitfire prop belongs, so with the help of HRH Price Seeiso a plan was hatched to present a full sized Tribute Spitfire as a monument to be housed in the capital city of Maseru.

And with that our band of volunteers set out to build the Lesotho Tribute Spitfire. In doing so we created friendships that would last a life time. We engaged with both young and old people, removed the boundaries that can separate generations and hinder understanding and interaction.

We united in a common goal.

There is only one place that a Spitfire prop belongs, so with the help of HRH Prince Seeiso a plan was hatched to present a full sized Tribute Spitfire as a monument to be housed in the capital city of Maseru. 


And with that our band of volunteers set out to build the Lesotho Tribute Spitfire. 

In doing so we created friendships that would last a life time. We engaged with both young and older people, removed the boundaries that can separate generations and hinder understanding and interaction. 

We approached potentially difficult conversations such as race, gender, inaquality, intollerance from the safe platform of the Spitfire,

Embracing our commonality and shared histories. 

There is only one place that a Spitfire prop belongs, so with the help of HRH Prince Seeiso a plan was hatched to present a full sized Tribute Spitfire as a monument to be housed in the capital city of Maseru. 

 

And with that our band of volunteers set out to build the Lesotho Tribute Spitfire. 

In doing so we created friendships that would last a life time. We engaged with both young and older people, removed the boundaries that can separate generations and hinder understanding and interaction. 

We approached potentially difficult conversations such as race, gender, inaquality, intollerance from the safe platform of the Spitfire,

Embracing our commonality and shared histories. 

In January 2016 we received the official letter of invitation from the Lesotho Senate to present King Letsie III in November that year our Tribute Spitfire as part of the Lesotho 50th anniversary of independence celebrations. A final push was needed, but how to fund it! 
Some serious out of the box thinking was required. 

We needed a product, something worthy of the Spirit of the Spitfire and most importantly a product that we knew that the Great British public would buy. 

Ian identified Gin as the great British tipple, it was of the correct calibre and most at home in officer's messes around the world. 

He also knew that the girls of the ATA were known to have carried a snifter of gin as part of their kit bag. 

In January 2016 we received the official letter of invitation from the Lesotho Senate to present King Letsie III in November that year our Tribute Spitfire as part of the Lesotho 50th anniversary of independence celebrations. A final push was needed, but how to fund it! 
Some serious out of the box thinking was required. 

We needed a product, something worthy of the Spirit of the Spitfire and most importantly a product that we knew that the Great British public would buy. 

Ian identified Gin as the great British tipple, it was of the correct calibre and most at home in officer's messes around the world. 

He also knew that the girls of the ATA were known to have carried a snifter of gin as part of their kit bag. 

The Alchemist

Spitfire Heritage enlisted the talents of multi award winning Master Distiller Dr John Walters

The Gin was to include:
Rosemary for Remembrance, Borage for Courage , Blood Orange for the Fallen , English Rose Petals for the ladies of the ATA.

And with that John worked his alchemy to create a 1930’s retro gin of exceptional quality. In the spirit of the Spitfire created to be the best.

SPITFIRE HERITAGE GIN
Is distilled in the heart of Blighty in hand beaten copper stills, housed in a stunning 300 year old barn next to a duck pond. It doesn’t get more British than that! The distillery is one of only a handful of Single Estate Distilleries in England.

Gin is made from Vodka!
Single Estate means that we sow our own crop (sugar beet) harvest it and distil into our own Vodka.

Most other small batch producers have to buy in vodka from larger suppliers who produce on an industrial scale. You can’t make perfect vodka on an industrial scale.

The Alchemist

Spitfire Heritage enlisted the talents of multi award winning Master Distiller Dr John Walters

The Gin was to include:
Rosemary for Remembrance, Borage for Courage , Blood Orange for the Fallen , English Rose Petals for the ladies of the ATA.

And with that John worked his alchemy to create a 1930’s retro gin of exceptional quality. In the spirit of the Spitfire created to be the best.

SPITFIRE HERITAGE GIN
Is distilled in the heart of Blighty in hand beaten copper stills, housed in a stunning 300 year old barn next to a duck pond. It doesn’t get more British than that! The distillery is one of only a handful of Single Estate Distilleries in England.

Gin is made from Vodka!
Single Estate means that we sow our own crop (sugar beet) harvest it and distil into our own Vodka.

Most other small batch producers have to buy in vodka from larger suppliers who produce on an industrial scale. You can’t make perfect vodka on an industrial scale.

It's all about Heads and Tails

The first fraction off the product off the still is called the HEADS, the last fraction is called the TAILS.
The flavour of the vodka from the heads and tails is quite frankly horrid!

The bit in the middle is the HEART of the spirit.

The aim is to isolate the heart with no contamination either side from heads or tails.

The larger the still the larger the percentage of heads and tails.

We only distil in small batches, this allows us to rigorously remove the heads and tails.
Leaving only the creamy delicious heart.

Our gin starts with the perfect Vodka….not many can say that.

In fact so proud are we of our vodka we launched it, and what better name than SUPERMARINE the company that created the Spitfire.

The first fraction off the product off the still is called the HEADS, the last fraction is called the TAILS.
The flavour of the vodka from the heads and tails is quite frankly horrid!

The bit in the middle is the HEART of the spirit.

The aim is to isolate the heart with no contamination either side from heads or tails.

The larger the still the larger the percentage of heads and tails.

We only distil in small batches, this allows us to rigorously remove the heads and tails.

Leaving only the creamy delicious heart.


Our gin starts with the perfect Vodka….not many can say that.


In fact so proud are we of our vodka we launched it, and what better name than SUPERMARINE the company that created the Spitfire.

Creating the brand

Confident that we had created one of the finest gins in the world, we now needed to create a brand to do it justice.

The 1930’s were the triumphant hey-day for gin, and the decade that saw the Birth of a Great British and Commonwealth icon.

The SPITFIRE.
The defender of our freedom to live and love and drink GIN with whomsoever we choose.

It took a certain type of person to fly a Spitfire. Strong, intelligent, self-assured and a little bit reckless. That’s why women made such great Spitfire pilots.

In the roaring 20s flapper girls were all the rage, but in the 30s and 40s young ladies learnt to fly.

Once again we went straight to the top enlisting the help of world renowned aviation illustrator ROMAIN HUGAULT to create our ATA girl character and brand mascot Bunny.

Creating the brand

Confident that we had created one of the finest gins in the world, we now needed to create a brand to do it justice.

The 1930’s were the triumphant hey-day for gin, and the decade that saw the Birth of a Great British and Commonwealth icon.

The SPITFIRE.
The defender of our freedom to live and love and drink GIN with whomsoever we choose.

It took a certain type of person to fly a Spitfire. Strong, intelligent, self-assured and a little bit reckless. That’s why women made such great Spitfire pilots.

In the roaring 20s flapper girls were all the rage, but in the 30s and 40s young ladies learnt to fly.

Once again we went straight to the top enlisting the help of world renowned aviation illustrator ROMAIN HUGAULT to create our ATA girl character and brand mascot Bunny.

SPITFIRE HERITAGE GIN launched in May 2016 and was quickly picked up by the world’s leading department store HARRODs. Who after a blind tasting of their sommeliers added Spitfire Heritage in store describing Spitfire Heritage Gin as one of the finest Artisan Gins in Britain.

What of the LESOTHO TRIBUTE?

In November 2016 SPITFIRE HERITAGE TRUST presented His Majesty King Letsie III with a full sized Spitfire Tribute.

Located in Makoanyane Square in the capital city of Maseru. The Spitfire Tribute is to be ultimately housed in the soon to open Lesotho National Museum of History.

As part of the 50th Anniversary of Independence Celebrations the Spitfire serves as a permanent reminder of the strong bond of friendship between the United Kingdom and the Kingdom of Lesotho.

What of the LESOTHO TRIBUTE?

In November 2016 SPITFIRE HERITAGE TRUST presented His Majesty King Letsie III with a full sized Spitfire Tribute.

Located in Makoanyane Square in the capital city of Maseru. The Spitfire Tribute is to be ultimately housed in the soon to open Lesotho National Museum of History.

As part of the 50th Anniversary of Independence Celebrations the Spitfire serves as a permanent reminder of the strong bond of friendship between the United Kingdom and the Kingdom of Lesotho.

In addition to the Spitfire Tribute we shipped 270 mountain bikes for the children of Lesotho.

Donated by Merseyside Police these mountain bikes serve as a means on which to get to school for the children as well as serving as a central focus for youth bike based community activities.

The bond of friendship was further underlined by the creation of a special anniversary Basotho blanket, the national dress of the people of Lesotho. The blanket bares the Lesotho Royal Crest and the emblem of Spitfire Heritage Trust.

Not many Gin or Vodka brands can make claim to having their emblem on the national dress of a nation.

Spitfire Heritage Distillers continues to support the work of Spitfire Heritage Trust.

We are proud of our Spitfire Heritage and grateful for our freedom to live and love and drink gin with whomsoever we choose.

Chin Chin Darlings!

Continued Support

In addition to the Spitfire Tribute we shipped 270 mountain bikes for the children of Lesotho.

Donated by Merseyside Police these mountain bikes serve as a means on which to get to school for the children as well as serving as a central focus for youth bike based community activities.

The bond of friendship was further underlined by the creation of a special anniversary Basotho blanket, the national dress of the people of Lesotho. The blanket bares the Lesotho Royal Crest and the emblem of Spitfire Heritage Trust.

Not many Gin or Vodka brands can make claim to having their emblem on the national dress of a nation.

Spitfire Heritage Distillers continues to support the work of Spitfire Heritage Trust.

We are proud of our Spitfire Heritage and grateful for our freedom to live and love and drink gin with whomsoever we choose.

Chin Chin Darlings!

Current active projects

Expedition to reparation and renovate a Spitfire
shot down on the edge of the Artic Circle

TYPE 2K modern composite flying Spitfire build

BAHLABANI COLLECTION

Lesotho fashion brand develpoment

 

 

SPITFIRE HERITAGE DISTILLERS

continues to support the work of

SPITFIRE HERITAGE TRUST

We are proud of our Spitfire Heritage and grateful
for our freedom to live and love and drink gin with
whomsoever we choose.

Chin Chin Darlings!

Current active projects

Expedition to reparation and renovate a Spitfire
shot down on the edge of the Artic Circle

TYPE 2K modern composite flying Spitfire build

BAHLABANI COLLECTION

Lesotho fashion brand develpoment

SPITFIRE HERITAGE DISTILLERS

continues to support the work of

SPITFIRE HERITAGE TRUST

We are proud of our Spitfire Heritage and grateful
for our freedom to live and love and drink gin with
whomsoever we choose.

Chin Chin Darlings!