Spitfire fly-past in 'Thank U NHS' tribute at Shropshire hospitals - with VIDEO

Shropshire's hospitals were treated to a fly-past from a Spitfire as a tribute to the NHS heroes who worked through the coronavirus pandemic.

Crowds of people gathered as the Spitfire flew over the Princess Royal Hospital, the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital and Ludlow Community Hospital this morning.

The former Second World War aircraft had 'Thank U NHS' painted on the underside and toured hospitals around the country while raising money for NHS Charities Together.

Staff and visitors alike stood outside in the sunshine this morning to enjoy the brief fly-past of the historic aircraft. It flew past Princess Royal Hospital at 10.51am, Royal Shrewsbury Hospital at 10.55am and Ludlow Community Hospital at 11.02am.

The "Thank U NHS" Spitfire as it flew over The Princess Royal Hospital this morning

Its route also saw it pass over Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham and New Cross Hospital in Wolverhampton, as well as RAF Cosford, where its arrival was greeted by a siren.

Members of the public were invited to nominate the name of a loved one that was hand written onto the family-owned Aircraft Restoration Company’s blue photo-reconnaissance Spitfire to raise money for NHS Charities Together.

WATCH: Spitfire over RAF Cosford - video by Matt Lakin

The names were nominated by the public as a way of recognising small acts of kindness throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. From a family member to a kind neighbour, close friend or community hero, the public thanked them with this special gesture.

John Romain, founder and managing director of Aircraft Restoration Company, said: "The response to our initial flight over the last 8pm #clapforourcarers Thursday was incredibly humbling, with hundreds of people from the local community sharing how wonderful it was to not only see the Spitfire, but also to read the message emblazoned across its wings.

Ruben Scarlett 7 from Loggerheads watched as the 'THANK U NHS' Spitfire flew over PRH

"After such positive response we decided to leave the message painted on the Spitfire for the rest of the flying season, this is where the idea to hand write the names of the nation’s loved ones onto the aircraft to raise money for the NHS Charities Together began."

The project's aim was to lift the spirits of those across the UK, many of whom are still living in some form of isolation, whilst also thanking the hospitals, communities and individuals who have been at the forefront of getting the country through the pandemic.

Watch brother and sister Henry and Bella Sussums-Lewis's montage of the Spitfire over Shrewsbury

This Spitfire was specifically built and used for photo reconnaissance during the conflict, carrying cameras instead of weapons. As it flew past the county's hospitals today, organisers hoped it would once again embody the sense of freedom and togetherness it once did.

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