Museum launch a success for trust’s war history trail

Claude Caple and Chairman Graham Weller at the Dunkeswell museum. Ref mhh 7636-23-15TI. Picture: Ter

Claude Caple and Chairman Graham Weller at the Dunkeswell museum. Ref mhh 7636-23-15TI. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

A new museum about World War Two has opened in Dunkeswell with an exhibition celebrating 75 years since the inauguration of the Home Guard.

The South West Airfield Heritage Trust converted its meeting room at the Nissen Hut into a visitor centre as part of its plans to create a trail across the Blackdown Hills.

The group is now planning future events after the successful one day event, which was held on Saturday.

Trustee Steve Parsons said: “New things are coming to light about the Auxiliary - this exhibition was about the Home Guard and the Auxiliary which went down very well.

“We even had a couple of Home Guard’s that came down to it and we took down their memoirs which we now have for posterity.

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“People who missed it have seen it on Facebook and have asked when is the next one.”

Specialists were on hand to talk to visitors about the Home Guard which celebrated its 75th birthday on May 14.

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Mr Parsons said: “For many people, the idea of the Home Guard will be Dad’s Army, it was a bunch of fools that were not good at their jobs, but really they were a very professional bunch.”

During the war the hut was an administration office before becoming a café in the 1970s. The trust took over the building the ’90s.

Mr Parsons added: “It is the aim of the trust to put on special exhibits and shows throughout the year in conjunction with the trusts other location at Smeatharpe so they complement each other as part of the Heritage Trail.”

The organisation is planning for future exhibits include the role of Dunkeswell in World War Two and a look at allied forces using the base, including President Kennedy’s brother Joseph who was based at the airfield due the war.

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