The Mall Luton welcomed a British Royal Air Force aircraft replica at the weekend to launch their 2018 Poppy Appeal.
As part of The Mall’s Remembrance event, the full size Supermarine Spitfire was on display in Central Square with many shoppers stood in awe admiring the impressive replica.
Visitors were keen to learn more about the Spitfire Mark IX with the aircraft’s restorers Lytham St Annes’ Spitfire Ground Display Team on hand to provide a wealth of knowledge.
Alongside answering questions, the ground display team helped educate visitors to understand the realities of fighting in the Royal Air Force for both aircrew and ground crew.
Budding pilots were also thrilled to have the chance to have a sneak peek inside the Spitfire’s cockpit, with photos taken to keep as lasting memories. Bespoke Spitfire team merchandise was also available to buy throughout the weekend, with all proceeds going towards the Lytham St Annes’ Spitfire Ground Display Team flying aircraft programme.
Both current and former service men and women joined in The Mall’s act of Remembrance, seeing visitors unite to pay their respects to the fallen soldiers of WWI and WWII, which was especially poignant this year, with 2018 marking the centenary anniversary of the end of WWI.
The service started just before 11am on Saturday with the sounding of the ‘Last Post’ and finished with ‘Revielle’ by bugler. The exhortation and the recital of the Kohima Epitaph was read by the President of the Royal British Legion (Leagrave Branch), Don Woodcroft.
The Mall also welcomed their annual Poppy Appeal stand, which is located outside Monsoon until Saturday, November 10. The centre is hoping to exceed last year’s amount raised of £23,000 and has a host of fantastic ‘Poppy Shop’ merchandise.
Shoppers to The Mall can purchase everything from beautiful brooches, bags and scarves to traditional paper poppies, with all funds raised going to The Royal British Legion in its role of caring and campaigning for our Armed Forces and their families.
Lavinia Douglass, Marketing Manager at The Mall Luton, said: “It was fantastic to welcome the impressive Spitfire to The Mall, the iconic aircraft certainly launched our Poppy Appeal in style. We hope all of our shoppers enjoyed having the chance to see the Spitfire and the important part it has played in our history.
“At The Mall, we are proud to support the Royal British Legion. We’d like to thank everyone who came to visit the centre over the weekend and hope they enjoyed the launch event as much as we did.”