Secrets of village at war in Branscombe

The WI in Branscombe during the war. A new exhibition on the role of the village during the Second World War starts in the village hall this weekend.

The WI in Branscombe during the war. A new exhibition on the role of the village during the Second World War starts in the village hall this weekend.

Archant

A mammoth exhibition about life in Branscombe in World War Two starts tomorrow in the village hall.

Created by the Branscombe Project, ‘Life on the Home Front’, will reveal the secret munitions factory in the village, thinly disguised as C. Nestlé & Co. Ltd, among other revelations.

The organizer hopes to show the Branscombe parish was a microcosm of things that were happening all over the country in wartime.

It will show how women, who’d had very little chance of employment except as servants in the big houses, suddenly had some money and freedom.

Soldiers, both British and American, camped on the beach and at Weston, the Home Guard is formed, and, much more secretly, an Auxiliary Unit to ‘take out’ the Germans if they land.

The exhibition covers the impact the war had on all members of Branscombe, and outside the hall will be an Anderson Shelter and a World War Two-era motor bike.

Inside will be a Morrison Shelter, a mock-up of the Radar Station and archive film footage. It is open from noon to 5pm until next Sunday, but there will be other themed-events in the village this week.

On Sunday ‘More Blitz than Ritz’, a wartime tea is on from 2 to 4.30 pm, at a cost of £2.50.

The Branscombe Players will provide entertainment on Wednesday, with ‘Wartime Amusements’ at 7.30 pm.

And next Sunday is a 1940’s dance entitled, ‘Swing and Jazz’. A ‘Jazz Trilogy’, supported by Mike Long, starts at 8.30 pm.

Tickets cost £10, with all profits to Help for Heroes, and are available at Branscombe Post Office.

For more information contact 01297 680 448 or 01404 813500.


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