A huge event was held to mark the closure of a landmark building home to dozens of blind veterans.

The Blind Veterans UK centre, known as St Dunstan's, in Ovingdean is closing its doors for good next month as the operations move to a new centre in Rustington.

The military charity held an event yesterday to mark the move, which means St Dunstan's shutting after 80 years of service to blind ex-servicemen and women.

The Argus: St Dunstan's in 1938St Dunstan's in 1938

The event was set to the soundtrack of music and performances from artists including the Brighton Male Voice Choir, the Not Forgotten Association and Ruth Fahie and the Big Band but their sound could hardly compete with the Spitfire display over the building at 3pm.

Blind Veterans UK centre manager Lesley Garven MBE said: "It was a very special day with music being enjoyed and memories being shared and it was fantastic to be joined by many of our blind veterans who have had their lives transformed in this building. The highlight for everyone was definitely the Spitfire aerial display."

The Argus: The Spitfire displayThe Spitfire display (Image: Blind Veterans UK)

A group of blind veterans also marched a time capsule, buried at the centre in 2015, 22 miles along the coast to the new centre in Rustington.

It contains items and documents detailing the history of Blind Veterans. Among them is a talking watch, the first piece of equipment offered to every Blind Veterans UK beneficiary, a memory stick containing images from the Ovingdean centre’s history and a copy of The Argus.

It is still set to be opened in 2115, 100 years after it was originally buried.

The Argus: Mark with the time capsule after completing the walkMark with the time capsule after completing the walk (Image: Blind Veterans UK)

Mark Threadgold, 55 from Saltdean, was one of the blind veterans walking the time capsule to Rustington. He said: “It’s a tradition in the Army to march from your old barracks to your new ones so this is a great way to mark the closing of the old centre and the opening of Rustington.

“Blind Veterans UK has been supporting veterans like me for 108 years, so it’s even older than the regiment I was in. It’s so important to remember the veterans that came before us so I was so proud to be part of the group that’s transporting the time capsule to the new centre.”

The Argus: Blind veterans and their guides on the Adur ferry bridgeBlind veterans and their guides on the Adur ferry bridge (Image: Blind Veterans UK)

The Ovingdean centre, looking out over the cliffs, was built for the charity - formerly known as St Dunstan's - in the 1930s to help rehabilitate blind ex-servicemen and women.

Blind Veterans UK will be moving into Princess Marina House in Rustington later this month.

Major General Nick Caplin said: “We are very excited to be making the short trip along the Sussex coast and moving to our new Rustington home.

“The blind veteran population we support today is very different to that of the 1930s, when our Ovingdean centre opened, and the average age of the veterans we support now is 87.

“Moving to this new building will mean we can offer different services that far better suit their needs and the needs of future blind veterans.”