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Battle of Britain film screening in Ramsgate

Robert Pryor and some of his WW2 memorabilia
Robert Pryor and some of his WW2 memorabilia

Making its first public screening in a British cinema for more than 30 years is the film The Battle of Britain, parts of which were made in the skies over Thanet in the late 1960s.

The big budget production with an all star cast - as well as dozens of real World War Two British and German fighters and bombers - will be shown at Ramsgate’s Granville Theatre on Friday September 12 from 7.30pm. Proceeds from the showing will be donated to the RAF Association Wings Appeal, which supports the air force and families.

The occasion is the idea of Granville projectionist Daniel Pryor. He said: “I’ve always been interested in that period of the Second World War and I’ve have never seen the film on the big screen. Now that I’m working at the Granville it seemed like a good idea to run it here for a special event.”

Accompanying the screening will be an exhibition of wartime memorabilia owned by Daniel’s father Robert, which will include salvaged pieces of aircraft.

Of course, the real battle was fought over the skies of east Kent in 1940 and RAF Manston was at the forefront of Britain’s defences until badly bombed by the Luftwaffe.

When the film - which starred Laurence Olivier, Michael Caine, Christopher Plummer, Susannah York and Kenneth Moore - was made, some of the aerial scenes were filmed over Westgate. The Spanish airforce owned German aircraft, Messerschmitt 109s and Heinkel bombers, were kept overnight at Manston.

Schoolboys playing cricket on the cliff top school field at the time simply gave up their game and spent the afternoon watching the planes making passes up and down in tight formation.

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