Campaign for R J Mitchell to appear on new £50

A campaign has been launched to nominate Reginald Mitchell, designer of the iconic WWII spitfire to appear on the new £50 note

Operation Spitfire, a group dedicated to the restoration of the City of Stoke on Trent Spitfire that is housed in the City Museum has launched the online campaign directing people to the Bank of England’s web page inviting nominations as well as an on line campaign that people can sign and add their support.

The Bank of England wants a prominent figure to be pictured on the new note when it is relaunched in 2020.  Bank Governor Mark Carney will lead a team to decide on who should be pictured from a shortlist of those nominated by the public.

Operation Spitfire – a group who raises funds to help with the restoration and provide education and STEM activities is urging the public to back their campaign to get the City born creator of the spitfire on the shortlist.

The Spitfire is largely credited with playing a pivotal role in winning the Battle of Britain during the Second World War and saving Britain from invasion.

Group spokesman Mike Mulroy said

“The Spitfire was such a crucial aircraft.  Mitchell died of cancer two years before the war and never saw the aircraft fly in battle.  Many people have extoled the virtues of the Spitfire, its sleek lines, the handling, the way pilots say it fitted like a glove; much has been written on the plane including a fabulous book this year called Spitfire – A Very British Love Story, by former RAF hero and Prisoner of War John Nichol.”

Julian Mitchell from  Stoke on Trent, the inventor’s Great Nephew said

“The Bank was looking for scientists, he was an engineer but look what he achieved.  He took aviation from 80mph to over 400mph.  He broke the world speed record three times which his creations” he won the Schneider trophy in 1931 with his first incarnation

“He was originally a locomotive engineer, aeronautics was not something you could do a degree in, the Wright brothers had only flown 10 years before he got into it.  He revolutionised the science”

Mike Mulroy continued

“Watt and Watthew Boulton currently appear on the £50 notes; it’s time for people to know about Mitchell.  In 2003 he was voted the most popular Midlander in a BBC poll”. “The public have until 14 December to register their nominations via

where they can also add up to 250 words on why they think Mitchell should be on the note.”


People can also write to Think Science, Bank of England, Threadneedle Street, London EC2R 8AH.

There is also a link on the website of Operation Spitfire