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Spitfire Gin builds actual Spitfire for Lesotho

Small-batch gin producer Spitfire Heritage is celebrating the successful building of a full-size Spitfire replica aircraft, created as a gift to the southern African nation of Lesotho.

Spitfire Heritage Gin will deliver the full-size replica Spitfire for permanent display in Lesotho in November

Teaming up with the Spitfire Heritage Trust, Spitfire Heritage Gin embarked on a fundraising bid to build a full-size Spitfire replica aircraft as a thank you to the people of Lesotho for their support in funding Spitfire construction during the Second World War.

The small African country, which this year celebrates the 50th anniversary of its Commonwealth independence, raised more money per head of population to fund the building of Spitfires during the war than any other – enough to build an entire squadron.

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On this, the Spitfire’s 80th anniversary year, the Spitfire Heritage Trust – a charity co-founded by the gin brand owner Ian Hewitt – is presenting the replica aircraft to Lesotho for public display in recognition of the nation’s “outstanding generosity in Britain’s time of need”.

Two young volunteers with the replica Spitfire

The Spitfire will arrive in Lesotho in time for the country’s Remembrance Sunday – 13 November 2016. The Spitfire Heritage team will fly out to meet the Spitfire as it touches down on African soil for a Remembrance Day presentation to HM King Letsie III. The aircraft will then go on permanent display in Lesotho’s memorial square.

With the help of police and volunteers, the Spitfire Heritage team is also shipping out more than 150 restored mountain bikes to help youngsters get to school from remote mountain villages.

Since the launch of Spitfire Heritage Gin this spring, Ian Hewitt and business partner, Denise France have put their efforts behind a careful growth strategy for Spitfire Heritage Gin, which has seen it stocked by a variety of high-end bars and pubs and luxury retailers.

The company will announce a new expression of its Spitfire Heritage Gin, created exclusively for one of Britain’s iconic luxury goods retailers, early in the new year.

The small batch botanical gin is made by distiller Dr John Walters.

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