Plans to rekindle wartime memories

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Following Arbroath’s highly-successful Spitfire Parade last month, Arbroath Sea Fest Committee is confident the World War Two theme that will run through this year’s Sea Fest will prove to be a crowd puller.

“The commemorations of Arbroath’s wartime fund-raising efforts to buy a Spitfire has certainly struck a chord with local people,” said Lynn Cameron, one of the members of Arbroath Sea Fest Committee. This year’s Sea Fest, which is on August 4 and 5, will provide further opportunities to celebrate Arbroath’s inspiring community spirit, which, judging by the enthusiasm local people have for Sea Fest and many of the other events and fund-raisers that take place in the town, is as strong today as it was in the 1940s.”

One of Sea Fest’s wartime attractions will be Arbroath Abbey Timethemes’ MOD Field Canteen.

“Teas and coffees will be in tin mugs, with Spitfire-shaped, home-made biscuits on tin plates and Vera Lynn singing on the radio,” said Bill Smith of Arbroath Abbey Timethemes.

“And, thanks to funding from Angus Council, those on duty will be in World War Two uniforms.”

Bill added that the canteen will also be a mini-museum of wartime artefacts, including a four-foot replica of Arbroath’s Spitfire, Red Lichtie.

“We’re keen to display items that provide an insight into life in Arbroath during the Second World War,” said Bill.

“Gas masks, wash boards, clothing, ration books, photographs. Anyone who would like to lend wartime memorabilia to Arbroath Abbey Timethemes for the Sea Fest weekend, can email me at seacat78@hotmail.co.uk”

A display by Strathmore Vintage Vehicle Club of 1940s vehicles will further add to the wartime atmosphere, especially the Women’s Volunteer Service’s Queen Elizabeth Canteen.

“Whenever there was an emergency, this vehicle provided tea, coffee and soup to everyone involved and would have been a regular sight around Angus during World War Two,” said Lesley Munro of Strathmore Vintage Vehicle Club.

Strathmore Vintage Vehicle Club will share a stand with Montrose Air Station Heritage Centre, who hope to take along their RAF staff car.

The curator of this award-winning museum, Dr Daniel Paton, explained that Montrose Air Station has revived the wartime tradition of fund-raising for a Spitfire and hopes to raise enough to buy a replica Spitfire to mark the air base’s 2013 centenary.

For more information about Arbroath Sea Fest 2012, which is supported by Angus Council Community Grant Scheme, visit www.arbroathseafest.co.uk