Talacre WW2 event
World War 2 spirit was very much in evidence at Talacre recently. Despite the rain, the weekend was still a great success.
Locals and visitors turned out in force with over 650 visiting the Community Centre displays and others stopping to look at the outdoor exhibits.
Indoors, visitors were wowed by the CGI film of the Spitfires and the virtual reality experience of being in an aircraft cockpit taking part in the bombing of Berlin. Handling the ‘home-front’ artefacts such as gas masks and an ARP warning rattle was popular and children enjoyed dressing up in period clothes. Both young and old had a go at rag-rugging with several older ladies showing us the techniques they had learned as youngsters. Professor Llusern and family added to the atmosphere with war-time songs, later joined by Miriam, an ENSA re-enactor, with her accordion.
Pride of place outdoors was the replica Spitfire and visitors enjoyed the powerful sound of the Merlin Meteor engine that was fired up at regular intervals.
A good number of people braved the weather to visit the archaeological dig taking place around the site of some of the chalets. The numerous artefacts found, including pieces of crockery and cases from spent bullets, were displayed in the Community Centre on Sunday.
The heavy overnight rain dampened spirits first thing on Sunday as some re-enactors and their exhibits were too wet to continue outdoors. However, Keep Calm and Carry on’ became the motto as exhibits were rearranged in the Community Centre to make space for re-enactors and we were rewarded by a steady stream of visitors throughout the day who were all very enthusiastic.
Chair of Flintshire County Council, Councillor Marion Bateman, said:
“Special thanks to the RAF cadets, who volunteered throughout the weekend to help the event go smoothly. Thanks also to the local volunteers and the team from Talacre Community Centre who have been so supportive throughout the project. I’d also like to acknowledge the local businesses who have supported the project, providing refreshments for volunteers, hosting events or funding publicity and to ENI UK Liverpool Bay, whose support has been invaluable.”
Flintshire County Councils Deputy Leader, Councillor Carolyn Thomas, got into the spirit of things, posing by the Spitfire in an RAF flying jacket! She said:
“It was great watching the amazing film footage and talking to the re-enactors and everyone involved with the displays as they were so knowledgeable.”
Mrs Gouldsmith from Leek, Staffordshire, was staying in a nearby caravan and brought her family. She said:
“It’s all been really interesting. We’ve stayed almost all day and have been to everything! There was something for us all. My 5 year old granddaughter loved dressing up and rag-rugging while the virtual reality was our teenager’s favourite.”
82 year old Dorothy Norman, who remembers the war herself, loved the event saying:
“I was thrilled to stand alongside a Spitfire and I enjoyed reading all the displays in the centre!”
Lynne Topple was with her father, Peter Cocker, who came to Talacre Warren as an evacuee escaping the May Blitz in Liverpool.
“It was so special to hear my dad sharing his wartime stories.”
This event was the climax of the Talacre Then and Now project, run by Flintshire Countryside Service and funded by National Lottery Heritage Fund, the Armed Forces Covenant Trust Fund, Outdoor Learning Wales and Cadwyn Clwyd.
Councillor Marion Bateman, Chair of Flintshire County Council with
David Hanson MP in the evacuee chalet
Air Commodore Adrian Williams with a Flight Sergeant from Prestatyn Air cadets and Macsen and Cadi Baglin
Cllr Carolyn Thomas gets into the RAF spirit
Ava Dixon, Dee Dixon and Tom Dixon, Kim Norman and Dorothy Norman
Liz Gouldsmith and her granddaughter Nancy Clowes try their hand at rag-rugging