Sunday, 15 February 2009

Remembering the world wars

Really enjoyed going to the Old ASDA building in Ballyclare to visit the Remembering the wars exhibition on Saturday with family and frineds.

Lots of photographs were taken and I hope to have them up soon, but in the meantime.....

I had lowish expectations as I was not sure how well the exhibition would be set up. Sometimes these things can be really cheesey and a big let down.

However, we arrived round the back where the car park is to find two "GIs" on guard and a park full of military stuff. I was in heaven. There was a Territorial Army 'North Light Horse' A.P.C., lots of jeeps, a couple of military lorries and re-enactors dressed as GIs, Russians and Germans. With all the appropriate kit. Fantastic. My eldest daughter, who is 2, and a real girly girl, much to my own chagrin, utterly suprised me by dragging us as fast as she could to the APC and wanted to get into it. I was never so happy to oblige so in we popped and then had fun waving to the rest of the family from out of the top hatch. Would have loved to have had a go driving it.

Inside the ASDA was an even bigger suprise. The place was fantastic. The exhibition was mostly British army from WWI to WWII. As far as I am aware most of it is from one man's collection who's relatives were in both wars. He did a guided tour and was excellent. Loads of photos taken - I am still in shock at how much stuff this guy had and a lot of his friends had given up their time to help out.

What was most suprising was that Newtownabbey Council had been working to provide funding for around two months and 12 days before the event they pulled out. I find this utterly bizarre and very sad that such an important exhibition has such essential funding pulled at such a late stage.

It is a real credit to the organisers that they were determined to go ahead and that the community of Ballyclare pulled together. I have heard lots of local schools have attended during the week. It has been so popular that the exhibition has been extended a week.

Really, I have to encourage you if you can to go. The exhibition will be on until 21 February 2009 in the old ASDA building in Ballyclare. It was not only great for a military geek like me but perfect for a full family visit.

I hope to have all of the photograghs up as soon as possible.
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