INVASION AND DEFENCE EVENT, IN PARTNERSHIP WITH THE RSPB, AT FREISTON SHORE
We were thrilled to hold a special Invasion and Defence event, over the Queens Jubilee weekend, at the Freiston Shore Nature Reserve. The RSPB gave us the opportunity to demonstrate the link between the existing WWII defences and the current Nature Reserve. We set up a static museum over the two days, giving visitors the opportunity to learn about and interact with many of the items. The museum was split into two
parts, the Home Front items in one area and the military items in a second area, enabling us to exhibit more of our items and to be able to spend time explaining and demonstrating them.
We then took the visitors in our army truck on a tour of the coastal defence buildings on site, explaining how the marsh area was fortified to help
prevent invasion, describing what the buildings were used for and to give a feel of what our soldiers would have had to endure whilst fearing a massive German invasion at any time.
In addition to all this, the RSPB took the visitors onto the Reserve, giving the opportunity to see many of the ‘invading’ birds, including the rare Avocet and their chicks.
Everybody attending during the weekend had a fantastic time - evident in some of the pictures!
As well as the environmental aspect of the Reserve, the historical significance of the site is immense. Some of the defence structures, constructed in 1940, are extremely rare. We have cleaned up the site, cutting back vegetation and revealing the paths that had been overgrown over the years, enabling safe passage through the site.
We are currently in discussion with the RSPB, explaining our ideas for the future, including restoring the buildings to their original condition (fitting doors, windows, etc), the construction of an authentic air-raid shelter and the possibility of introducing re-enactments inside the gun positions to show future visitors exactly how it would have been for the soldiers in 1940.