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Evacuate Belfast 1940’s-style this Saturday

June 29, 2015

The Belfast & Co Down Railway Company Ltd is holding a special event Saturday 4th of July to mark the 75th anniversary of the World War II evacuations from Belfast. The Evacuation Day project is funded by a Big Lottery Fund grant of £9,880 under the Awards for All programme.

Sustrans Map Updated-1

The Belfast & Co Down Railway Company is holding a special event on Saturday 4th of July to mark the 75th anniversary of the World War II evacuations from Belfast. They’re working with Belfast and County Down Railway Museum Trust on the Evacuation Day project, which is partly funded with a £9,880 grant under the Big Lottery Fund’s Awards for All programme. The event will include two anniversary walks at 11am and 1pm along the Comber Greenway. Both walks will start with the sound of an air raid siren.

From July 1940 Belfast residents were evacuated by train to places throughout County Down. The Belfast and County Down railway line now forms the Comber Greenway. People will follow the seven-mile journey taken by Belfast evacuees in 1940, with the walk beginning at the site of the Bloomfield station and taking in the former stations of Neill’s Hill on the Sandown Road in east Belfast.

Registration is at Bloomfield Railway Station on the Beersbridge Road. The 11am walk is free of charge as long as people register in advance. Otherwise the walks will cost £4 or £2 for children under 12. Wearing 1940’s style clothing on the day is encouraged. Everyone will receive a map, an identity card and a ration book which will be stamped at each station along the route as they receive rations from volunteers also dressed in 1940’s clothing. There will be 1940’s music and exhibits of period military vehicles and other paraphernalia at the stations and crossing points along the Greenway.

Once the walkers reach Comber, buses back to Belfast will be available.

The organisation needs volunteers for the event and would welcome any additional period items people would like to include in the exhibits. Further details of the events are available at: www.bcdr.co.uk 

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