Mayor of Havant unveils plaque celebrating Waterlooville hero

Monday, 2 March, 2020

Local hero, Beatrice ‘Tilly’ Shilling OBE, will be commemorated with a special plaque at Shilling Place, Waterlooville. 

The Mayor of Havant, Councillor Diana Patrick, will unveil the plaque at 11.30am on Monday 9 March - the day after Beatrice’s birthday and International Women’s Day.

Born in Waterlooville, Ms Shilling was a leading engineer for the Royal Aircraft Establishment (RAE), inventor and racing driver. She was a member of the Women’s Engineering Society and broke new ground for women in the industry.

During the Second World War, she invented the ‘RAE Restrictor’ which was pivotal to ensuring the Spitfire has a steady supply of fuel while in combat. Her innovation was first trialed during the Battle of Britain and saved the lives of countless RAF pilots over the course of WWII.

The McCarthy and Stone retirement development, named after Ms Shilling, opened in October 2019 and is currently home to more than 20 residents.

The Mayor of Havant said: “The legacy left by Tilly for her invention of the RAE restrictor and her contribution to engineering continues to give inspiration today.

"It is wonderful that McCarthy and Stone are recognising her achievements by commemorating her with a plaque and naming their retirement development ‘Shilling Place’ in her honour.”