HISTORY buffs drove across the city in a convoy of military jeeps to pay their respects to the man who designed the Spitfire.

Around 15 army vehicles stopped at iconic spitfire sites including the home and grave of Reginald Mitchell.

Born in 1895, he played a critical role in preventing the invasion of Britain with his plane manufactured in Southampton

Over 40 members from the South Hampshire Military Vehicle Trust (MVT) and Spitfire Makers visited former factory sites, originally developed to increase spitfire production, in Woolston and Shirley.

Taking place on Sunday, the journey ended with them laying wreaths on the inventor's grave in St Mary's Church and visiting Solent Sky museum. 

Organiser and MVT member, Peter Grist, 58, from Sholing said the celebrations were a "great experience for everyone."

He said: "It happened by accident. The MVT South was already planning to do something for the day and then I bumped into Alan from Spitfire Makers and we decided to come together and give this really unique experience.

"Everyone came together and driving through Southampton we honked and sirened which got lots of applause from passersby and when we stopped lots of others joined us. It was a great day and we only got rained on once."

Peter said that jeeps stopped off at blue plaques placed by the Spitfire Makers group and which highlight the importance of the fighter plane. 

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The event also featured talks from historian, Alan Matlock.

Alan, 67, said the event was to showcase the "human stories surrounding the plane."

He said: "It's the first time we've run it and so we ended up missing a few stops and going over by an hour but it was greatly received by everyone who attended.

"It's not just the plane or the pilots it's about the people. Churchhill said that the frontlines run through the factories so we went to many of the locations that made the spitfire."

Daily Echo: Alan Matlock Chair, The Spitfire Makers Charitable Trust giving spitfire talksAlan Matlock Chair, The Spitfire Makers Charitable Trust giving spitfire talks

The Jeep Run finished at the Solent Sky Museum to view the only Spitfire in Southampton.

The societies are continuing to plan future collaborative events. 

To find out more visit The Spitfire makers or South Hampshire Military Vehicle Trust.

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