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Island at War Review

Wartime Relived in Island at War Event.

The recent Island at War event, now in its fifth year, attracted many people to the Isle of Man Steam Railway last weekend, to join in a variety of attractions at the three main stations between the capital and the south of the Island.

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A number of individuals dressed in period costume mingled with performers and officials throughout the weekend, as visitors of all ages enjoyed the entertainment on offer, which included vintage vehicles, music and members of the Manx Craft Guild with items for sale in a marquee on the Douglas Station car park.

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In Douglas the station platform was transformed into a military outpost, whilst Port Erin became a venue for exhibitions and entertainment. Castletown, meanwhile, became the destination for casualties which were transferred to the wartime field hospital nearby, and the 1st Malew Scouts who kept everyone fed and watered with home-made cake and hot drinks.

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A highlight for many on the journey from Douglas to Port Erin was the sight of a crashed Spitfire, closely guarded by an artillery vehicle in the Manx countryside, which it was only possible to view as a passenger on the Island's railway.

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Further events took place at Cregneash, where there was an opportunity to relive life as it was for the Island's rural community, watch harvesting and agricultural displays and observe demonstrations by the Isle of Man Home Guard and the Women's Land Army.

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There was also a guided walk to Meayll Hill, where Dr Andrew Foxon spoke of the World War II radar stations.

Valerie Caine
© August 2015