The creator of a £2m appeal set up to buy one of many Spitfires recently discovered in Burma has moved to assuage the concerns of some who have questioned his actions.
As featured in the Echo on December 20, former Haverhill resident Dave Treagger has set up the Castle Bromwich Return-Restoration and Preservation Fund to finance his dream.
Mr Treagger, who now lives in Denmark, wants to buy and bring back to the UK one of possibly 36 and even up to 60 Spitfires found buried in their crates (pre-assembly) 40ft beneath the Burmese jungle.
However, when the story appeared in the Echo it attracted some negative feedback, with commentators questioning the appeal.
One described it as ‘stupidly misbegotten’ and ‘ill thought out.’
Another observer advised ‘would anyone considering donating please make sure that they have actually seen these aircraft unearthed before contributing,’ and questioned whether the crates even contain Spitfires.
The feedback has prompted Mr Treagger to clarify that his appeal fund will not accept any donations until the aircraft have been successfully dug up and a legally binding agreement signed to buy one from the Burmese Government, which will be entitled to keep some of those found.
He said: “No money is being accepted until we have got the documents all officially signed and sealed.
“The way I look at it is if you turn round and try and raise funds without anything in place it could be construed as taking money under false pretences.”
It had been planned that the Spitfires would be dug up on January 2, but that has been put back to January 12.
Mr Treagger said: “Before any money is taken I want to clarify that they (the aircraft) are in a restorable condition and know how many are going to be distributed to the Burmese Government.”
Mr Treagger can be reached at email@example.com.