Plaque unveiled at Purbrook McCarthy and Stone development to commemorate Waterlooville inventor

AN INVENTOR born in Waterlooville has left her mark on another building as a plaque was dedicated to commemorate her achievements.

Monday, 9th March 2020, 4:47 pm
Updated Tuesday, 10th March 2020, 3:10 pm
A plaque was unveiled by the Mayor of Havant Diana Patrick at McCarthy and Stone retirement development Shilling Place in Purbrook, on Monday, March 9. The plaque will commemorate locally born Beatrice 'Tilly' Shilling, who the development is named after. Pictured is: The Mayor of Havant Diana Patrick and her consort James Spencer, with residents and (right) Gail Close, house manager. Picture: Sarah Standing (090320-6666)

Havant mayor Diana Patrick unveiled a sign at a Purbrook retirement living development to honour aeronautical engineer Beatrice Shilling OBE, drawing attention to the local hero.

The plaque is dedicated to Ms Shilling following the naming of McCarthy and Stone’s Shilling Place development in her honour last year.

Cllr Patrick joined Shilling Place’s house manager, Gail Close, to officially unveil Ms Shilling’s commemorative plaque on Monday, March 9 – the day after her birthday.

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A plaque was unveiled by the Mayor of Havant Diana Patrick at McCarthy and Stone retirement development Shilling Place in Purbrook, on Monday, March 9. The plaque will commemorate locally born Beatrice 'Tilly' Shilling, who the development is named after. Pictured is: The Mayor of Havant Diana Patrick and her consort James Spencer, with (right) Gail Close, house manager. Picture: Sarah Standing (090320-6690)

Cllr Patrick said: ‘The legacy left by Ms Shilling for her invention of the RAE restrictor and her contribution to engineering continues to give inspiration today.

‘It was a real pleasure to visit Shilling Place and unveil this special plaque in honour of Ms Shilling.’

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Originally born in Waterlooville, Ms Shilling started her career as an apprentice electrical engineer, gaining qualifications until she was recruited to the Royal Aircraft Establishment where she became the leading specialist in aircraft carburettors.

During the Second World War, she invented the RAE Restrictor, which saved the lives of countless RAF pilots over the course of the war.

Known as Shilling’s Penny, or Miss Shilling’s Orifice, the component was first tested during the Battle of Britain and became vital for steadying the supply of fuel to the engines of Spitfires and Hawker Hunters.

Ms Shilling also had a love for motorcycles, and became the second woman to gain a Brooklands Gold Star for lapping the motorcycle racing track at over 100mph.

Husky Patel, Purbrook ward councillor, was approached by a resident of Shilling Place who came up with the idea of the plaque.

Cllr Patel said: ‘We wanted to do it as close to her birthday as we could. I think it’s fantastic, we don’t have many heroes here and when we do we should celebrate them.’

The Shilling Place development in London Road, Purbrook, opened on August 31 and features 46 apartments for rent or purchase, specifically designed for over-60s with a secure entry system and 24-hour emergency call system.