Well done Frederick Neil (Echo,March 30th) for voicing an objection to the proposed Spitfire Monument.
The project has already spent over £100,000 from City Council funds on trying to site the memorial on another area up for multi-million pound development. For the moment and with sanity Parliament has declined the £2m hand out requested by Royston Smith MP. No doubt he will go looking for more funds from our own cash starved city coffers so it can finally be completed for an important 100yr anniversary of the RAF on 1st April 2018?
Across the world there are memorials using fighter planes, especially in Russia and there is a MIG 21 in a park in Ukraine. There are memorials with broken parts of warplanes in the USA, indicating the waste of military hardware and perhaps loss of life. There are though more peacefully constructed memorials. In 2004 celebrated Chinese artist Yao Yuan unveiled his 10m high Statue of World Peace, constructed from 8 tons of stainless steel and sited at Grandcamp-Maisy, Normandy, France.
Our Mayflower Park is a reminder of the ship that the Pilgrim brothers set sail in. The ship was anchored off Southampton for a week waiting to put to sea. How long would it be before aircraft enthusiasts start nicknaming it Spitfire Park?
My opinion is that Southampton has an international community and our tourist industry attracts millions of visitors by land and by sea. A spitfire memorial could still be placed over at Spitfire Quay where it would be part of a heritage experience for visitors, but anything being constructed where passengers on ocean liners will experience their first thoughts about our city should not include a warplane which could instil mixed feelings about our city.