CAMPAIGNERS who helped to get Secret Spitfires shown on the big screen were moved to tears when they watched a feature length version, which director Ethem Cetintas had cut especially for a nationwide showing on Sunday.

The documentary about how Spitfires were built in Trowbridge in the Second World War began as a small project, backed by the Wiltshire Times when it was initially produced on DVD, and the director’s cut version was shown at the Odeon in Trowbridge, along with screens around the country, to mark Armed Forces Day.

Mr Cetintas and historian Norman Parker spent nearly two years making Secret Spitfires, which explores how residents from the county town, Salisbury and Reading helped make the iconic planes.

The documentary had great feedback when it was shown in the Odeon in Trowbridge last November, after people petitioned to get it a big screen slot.

Sally Boyle lives in Trowbridge and was one of the main campaigners to get the film into the cinema.

She said: “We were so glad that we had the opportunity to see this film and to find it exceeded all expectations.

“Secret Spitfire the Director’s Cut was truly amazing. I didn’t see how it could possibly be any better than the last film, but it was.

“It had new footage, new people and some wonderful stories that I didn’t get to see or hear in the shorter version.

“I take my hat off to Ethem and his production team. I felt Norman Parker, the star of the show, took us on a journey that really touched the heart, making it feel incredibly real. For these people it was real, very real.

“The film had some very humorous moments that made me laugh out loud and of course it also covered the seriousness of the local people’s involvement by pulling together as a close-knit community and how that played an important part for the war effort.

“I feel that this film has told the most amazing story and has brought our relatives and friends the credit they deserve for their efforts, and that we are so grateful for because that was the aim.

“The big thing for me was that I did not expect to see my name mentioned in the credits, and that just tipped me over the edge. I actually cried. What a day, one I will never forget.”

Wendy Johnston, who was also one of the campaigners and whose mum and auntie featured on screen, said: “It was very emotional today. It was lovely to see new material and see my Mum with her twin sister and some more lovely characters too. To see our names in the credits brought us to tears.

“I will never get used to seeing her on screen and she never would have believed it.”