School Children Get a Taste of the 1940s at Wig Bay Art Project Launch


Tea Party, Memories and Walking Tour Let Kirkcolm Primary Pupils Discovery Wartime History of RAF Wig Bay on Loch Ryan


Children from Kirkcolm Primary School held a 1940s-themed tea party and visited a new art exhibit commemorating Wig Bay’s days as a WWII flying boat base.

Last Thursday’s (24/03) event marked the official opening of a sound installation, based in a wartime observation point, where visitors are plunged back in time by the sounds of aircraft, a U-Boat and a submarine sonar.

A large board has been built onto the front of the small brick structure where people can sit and play the classic Battleships and Cruisers war game.

Concrete seating areas have also been created, which are reminiscent of gun emplacements, where people can enjoy fabulous views over Loch Ryan.

The initiative is by Solway Firth Partnership, with funding from Dumfries and Galloway Council. The partnership teamed up with the local community, environmental art organisation Wide Open, and artist and designer Kenny Mackay, to preserve the story of this fascinating piece of Scotland’s history.

It is part of the partnership’s wider drive to encourage sustainable tourism by attracting visitors interested in its World War II history and wildlife.

The artworks and the seating proved a big hit with the children from the nearby school and they loved hearing about RAF Wig Bay, and about Loch Ryan’s wartime history. The children were shown slides belonging to Stranraer man Donnie Nelson, aged 83, who used to watch the aircraft flying in and out when he was a boy.

Jan Hogarth, Director of Wide Open, said: “It was lovely for the children to discover so much about the history of the area where they live – and to have a walk to the observation post with Kenny.

“The tea party at the school was lots of fun, with people there in uniforms and civilian clothes from the 1940s, so the pupils could get a real taste of what life was like back then.

“We are really grateful to the school, and everyone else who contributed to the launch, for their help and support in making the launch such a special occasion.  And we hope that local residents and visitors alike will enjoy the sound installation and the rest of the project for many years to come.”

Wendy Cuff, Regeneration Manager from Dumfries and Galloway Council, thanked everyone for their involvement in the project at the tea party.

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