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Marham gin launch aims to keep Tornado spirit alive

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An icon of West Norfolk’s skies is being remembered with a new fundraising tipple, which will be launched this weekend.

The Tornado was a vital part of British defence operations for more than four decades, before being withdrawn from active service in a final ceremony at RAF Marham two years ago.

But its spirit lives on through the Tornado Gin, developed by the award-winning Wild Knight Distillery at Beachamwell.

A new gin celebrating the heritage of the Tornado jet will be launched in Marham this weekend (50357022)
A new gin celebrating the heritage of the Tornado jet will be launched in Marham this weekend (50357022)

The new creation has its official launch at the Marham village fun day, close to the base where the jet was at home for so long, this Sunday.

And a proportion of the proceeds from sales will be donated to the base’s Aviation Heritage Centre (AHC) in a move which officials there hope will give a timely boost to their work.

Researcher and archivist Ken Delve said: “We believe Tornado Gin will not only provide direct financial support to help us remain a free-to-enter site, but also, and equally as importantly, help raise awareness of the Heritage Centre and encourage people to visit.

“A large part of our role is helping relatives of ex-RAF personnel find out more about their loved ones’ RAF careers.”

Visitors to the fun day, which will take place on the village playing field between 10am and 4pm on Sunday and offers a wide range of other attractions from classic cars to a dog show, will be able to taste the gin, as well as purchase commemorative bottles.

Matt Brown, the co-founder and distiller of Wild Knight, said pre-sales of the new gin had been encouraging.

He added: “We are absolutely delighted to be working with the AHC on Tornado Gin.

“The centre is such an amazing resource of aviation history, and with Tornado Gin being distilled under the flight path where the Tornado used to fly, we feel a real connection with this historical aeroplane and the AHC.

“We are looking forward to the Fun Day and to Tornado Gin taking flight.”

A limited run of 501 commemorative bottles has been made, priced at £38 each. Between £3 and £5 from each bottle sold will go to the AHC.

Bottles can also be ordered online via www.wildknightdistillery.co.uk/products/raf-tornado-gin.

The AHC is currently open on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, from 9am to 4pm, and on the last Saturday of each month, between 9.30am and 4pm.

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