Youngsters set to play their part in Wartime Weekend!
8:50am Wednesday 30th May 2012 in News
SHOWING that ‘remembering the war’ isn’t just for the older generation, children and young people will be playing their part in taking Barry Tourist Railway back to the Forties during the Wartime Weekend on June 16-17.
Providing a unique re-enactment of the evacuation of children from the cities to the safety of the countryside, three special trains will ‘evacuate’ Barry schoolchildren from the war-torn Hood Road site at Barry Waterfront to the safety of Barry Island.
Co-organiser and education officer Dr Jonathan Hicks said: "At the beginning of the Second World War families were torn between evacuating their children to the homes of strangers in safer parts of Britain, such as the countryside, or keeping them at home in the cities, which were certainly going to be bombed.
"Our re-enactment aims to remind people of this period of history and the dilemmas faced by the families involved.
"Young people are the next generation of historians and through our re-creation we hope some of the young people involved will develop an interest in the history of the period, which is already on the school curriculum.
"All of the schools involved have been visited by a team of Sixth Form students from St Cyres School," he added.
"They explained about the real evacuations and gave advice about how to dress ‘1940s style’ and how to make the all-important cardboard gas mask box that everyone, including children, had to carry."
Just prior to the evacuation-trains departing from Hood Road, the Barry Island based Theatre for Kids (T4K) will tell the story of the evacuations through street theatre and song.
Bringing the sounds of the forties to the event will be the Cardiff and Vale Youth Jazz Orchestra, and the St Cyres School wind band, bringing alive the big-band sounds of the era through music by Glenn Miller, Duke Ellington and other 1940s favourites.
Ensuring the sounds flow smoothly and visitors are kept informed of the busy schedule, St Cyres Sixth Formers will be staffing the on-site radio station, which will be playing Forties music and making wartime announcements throughout the day.
Co-organiser and Vale Heritage Centre Coalition Chairman, Ade Pitman said: "The enthusiasm of young people to be involved with the first Wartime Weekend in Barry shows just how eager they are to learn about the history of their town.
"One of the aims of the Wartime Weekend is to provide an opportunity for the area’s heritage and arts groups to work together on an interesting project that will draw heritage tourism to the town.
"We’ve had enquiries from all over the UK, and we’re even expecting some young people to attend the event from the Netherlands.
"I’m optimistic that this event will highlight the benefits to the Vale of heritage tourism, and that this event will play its part in the drive for a Heritage Centre as part of Barry's regeneration. I’m sure our young people will play an active part in that project too."
You can find out more about the Wartime Weekend by visiting the ‘Barry at War’ website at www.wartimeweekend.co.uk