Portland winds clock back to the war years

GALS AND DOLLS: From left, Charlie Sheppard, Poppy Butcher, Rachel Rogers and Michaela Weishaar

GALS AND DOLLS: From left, Charlie Sheppard, Poppy Butcher, Rachel Rogers and Michaela Weishaar

First published in News Dorset Echo: Photograph of the Author by

PORTLAND will be playing its part in this weekend’s armed forces celebrations.

While Weymouth will be transformed into a Second World War town and see veterans marching, the 1940s will be returning to the island.

Wartime nostalgia events are taking place at Osprey Leisure Centre on Saturday, June 21 after Weymouth and Portland Borough Council received a grant from English Heritage.

The 1940s Come to Portland aims to raise awareness of the many cultural and human experiences of the era. As well as displays, music, a military convoy and a performance from female trio The Decadettes, there will be a Portland at War exhibition at the island museum.

In addition, people can get a taste of what it was like in the 1940s and explore local history in a two-day event at Portland Castle.

Council tourism and culture spokesman Cllr Rachel Rogers said: “The project has gained considerable support from the Portland community and we encourage residents and visitors to come and support these brilliant 1940s events.”

1940s Comes to Portland is from noon to 4pm and coincides with the borough’s Armed Forces Day Celebrations from June 21-27, the focus of which is the veterans and military festival this weekend.

It includes a beach assault, a bridge building exercise, military vehicle display and Spitfire flypast on Saturday and a service and veterans parade along the seafront on Sunday led by The Band of Royal Marines.

The council received £100,000 from the Ministry of Defence to support its celebrations, which this year recognise the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War and the 70th anniversary of D-Day.

Major re-enactments are also planned this weekend as part of Weymouth at War to coincide with the veterans festival and includes military camps set up at the Nothe Gardens and the crypt of Holy Trinity Church transformed into a US Army field hospital.

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