Music and TV star Suggs has made a fascinating discovery whilst exploring Merseyside’s WWII history.
The Madness singer – real name Graham McPherson – joined detectorist and militaria expert Stephen Taylor here to film an episode of the documentary WW2 Treasure Hunters.
Digging at Banks Marsh near Southport for the series, which is on BLAZE®, Freeview Channel 63 at 9pm tonight (September 2), Suggs helped uncover around four tonnes of remains from the German Junkers 88 bomber.
The aircraft, originally destined for Greenock in Scotland, was shot down by a British fighter on April 7, 1941 after bad weather prompted it to instead head for its secondary target of Liverpool.
Stephen, who has spent the past 25 years seeking out WWII relics, also confirmed: “Once we’d cleaned up some of the wreckage we found bullet holes, so we definitely found it had been shot down by machine gun fire.”
Having been assisted by Lancashire Aircraft Investigation Team to excavate the wreckage, the show’s hosts used the dig as a catalyst to find out more about the human stories connected to it.
Whilst Stephen embarked on a search for the son of the German pilot who, amazingly, survived the shooting down of the aircraft, viewers will see Suggs delve deeper into Merseyside’s wartime past.
Suggs and Stephen Taylor unearth a WWII aircraft wreckage near Southport
Suggs heads to Liverpool’s docks in the programme, and meets historians to learn more about the impact of the devastating May Blitz of 1941.
There’s also a trip to WWII air raid shelters at Birkenhead High School Academy, which were restored and reopened thanks to a Heritage Lottery Fund boost being granted in 2015.
Miss Stephen, the school’s headteacher during the war, rallied with parents and staff to raise funds for the underground shelters to be built so that pupils who had been evacuated to Yeaton Peverey in Shrewsbury could return home.
Opening in 1940, they were designed by Mr Merton, a chartered architect and the husband of the school’s art teacher, and were constructed by the building company of Robert Lloyd, whose daughters Betty and Jean who attended the school had been evacuated.
WW2 Treasure Hunters starts on Monday, September 2 at 9pm on BLAZE® , Freeview Channel 63.