The Old Aero Works

The Spitfire has been attributed to saving England from imminent invasion by Germany in the early years of World War II.

Those brave pilots success has been attributed to the aircraft they had at their command, one of the most manoeuvrable, fast and deadly aircraft available at that time.

These iconic planes were built in their thousands.

[A]ssembled from parts produced at factories dotted around the country, one of which was situated in central London in Hatton Street just off the Edgware Road. Built in 1920 it is one of the earliest all-concrete buildings in Britain once owned by Bovis. At the height of the Blitz in 1940 the Government requisitioned the building to house the Palmer Tyre Company’s aeroworks who previously had been located in the heavily bombed London docks.

The reasoning behind the move was as the area was mostly residential there was less chance of being bombed.

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Here in secrecy braking systems, tyres, wheels and gun turrets were produced by workers who were not told their purpose, but there was a tacit understanding that they were producing warplanes, particularly Spitfires.

Anyone passing the building today is under no illusion about what once went on inside. This classic Art Deco block, has seven Spitfire models on the roof and a plaque above the door.

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The building has seen some famous architects in its time. It was designed by Wallis, Gilbert & Partners the designers of iconic building such as the Hoover and Firestone buildings along the Great West Road.

Recently it was the offices of Terry Farrell & Partners who gave us the James Bond MI6 Building in Vauxhall Cross. Farrell has had part of that space converted into a studio flat for himself.

Apart from the building’s classic look Farrell is himself a huge fan of the Spitfire.

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