26/02/2010

Wars Come To Life In Ballymena

A local historian is to take visitors back through time with a major exhibition 'War Years Remembered'.

For six weeks during March and April, The Braid, Mid Antrim Museum in Ballymena will play host to a unique display of memorabilia from WWI and WWII, transforming the Braid Building in the Co Antrim town into a world war 'time capsule', with over 40 mannequins displaying various uniforms from the two wars, complete with weapons and all the kit that a fighting soldier required.

Organiser, David McCallion said: "For the first time since World War I a base drum and side drum from the 12th Service Battalion the Royal Irish Rifles (Central Antrim Volunteers) will be on display together, as well as specially constructed trench scenes, dug outs, air raid shelters and machine gun posts.
News Image
"But it's not all big boys' toys - there will also be displays reflecting life on the home front in the war years," he said, noting that it offers a totally different day out for both adults and children.

"This is one of the largest collections of militaria in private hands today," organiser David McCallion.

"In fact some of the items are so rare that even the Imperial War Museum doesn't have them."

This summer sees the 65th anniversary of the end of World War II, the 70th of Dunkirk and the Battle of Britain, so a lot of the equipment used during the War will be on display at this unique event in Ballymena, which climaxes on Saturday 10th April.

The War Years Remembered exhibition is open to the public from 10am-5pm Monday through to Friday and Saturday 10am to 4.30pm, Group bookings are available via the Braid Museum. Admission is free.

Helping to promote the event, David McCallion of War Years Remembered is pictured manning his recently restored Polsten Quad Mount Anti Aircraft Gun which was designed by Polish munitions' workers who escaped from Poland in 1939.

(BMcC/GK)

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