A FESTIVAL celebrating one year of Salisbury's Secret Spitfire memorial has been cancelled.

On July 9 last year the monument next to Salisbury Rugby Club was unveiled - created to recognise the residents who engineered and constructed the fast fighter/interceptor MK-9 Spitfire aircraft in secret during the Second World War.

One year on, organisers have been advertising Spitfest to go ahead on July 8, to both mark the anniversary and raise funds for the spitfire's upkeep.

Around £100,000 had previously been raised to bring the spectacle to life.

The new festival, complete with live music from Ribble Ribble, Lump, Southbound and The Intercepteurs, has since been cancelled due to "unforseen circumstances".

Announcing the news on social media, the Secret Spitfires Memorial Charity said: "It is with regret that, due to unforseen circumstances, we have decided to cancel Spitfest on the July 8.

"Full refunds will be made to those who have bought tickets."

Back in May the memorial received a spring clean, which involved scrubbing the body, replacing lightbulbs and removing weeds from the base.

The bespoke bench next to the memorial paying tribute to the life of Ethem Cetintas, co-director and producer of the film Secret Spitfires, was cleaned and varnished. 

Level access was also created from the car park to the monument, to enable less mobile visitors to get up close more easily.

Talking about the successful clean, Chris Whalley, chairman of the Spitfire charity said: "We are so grateful to the volunteers who continue to help us look after the memorial and hope that everyone will agree how magnificent it is looking almost one year on."

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