With the 75th Anniversary of D-Day approaching, over 60 free 1940s activities, will be hitting the streets of Brixham from 1st-9th June. Organised by Brixham Future, the events are expected to attract a wide audience of visitors and residents of all generations, as Brixham business owners come together to transform the town.
One of the main highlights was going to be a free tour of the historic vessel Motor Torpedo Boat 102. The 68-foot boat was to be moored in Brixham Marina from 3rd-9th June and is the fastest and smallest vessel ever to serve as a flagship for the Royal Navy. It is one of the few surviving WW2 Motor Torpedo Boats and carried Churchill and Eisenhower when planning the invasion of Normandy. It was also used in The Eagle Has Landed (1976) and Dunkirk (2017) film productions. Unfortunately due to adverse weather conditions in the North Sea, this visit has been cancelled.
Other 1940s themed events during the week include a themed car boot, display of 3 iconic cars, a ‘Churchill is Missing!’ fun treasure hunt with prizes, a public talk by Keith Metcalfe about WW2 Medals – where you can even bring along your own medals.
For the music and dance lovers, there will be a vibrant gathering of live music in the Old Fish Market or Shoalstone Pool, with guest performers Sharon Hubbocks, Torbay Ukulele Band, Orpheus Male Choir, Brixham Town Band. There will also be 40s vintage vocals from Sandy Sparkle and The Liberty Sisters plus dance displays from Lindy Hoppers.
One of the star performers will be the Lympstone Military Wives Choir, formed following the TV show ‘The Choir: Military Wives’ hosted by Gareth Malone. They will be appearing at the Baptist Church at 2pm on Saturday 8th June.
For the creative minds, come along to the Victory Art Exhibition, the 1940s craft market or the 1940s fashion show. The Old Coaching Inn on Fore Street will be showing a free ‘40s Film a Day’ plus on, 2nd June, the premiere of ‘Brixham on D-Day’, a new film by the South Devon Players.
Over 10 guided walks and talks about life in the 40s will be held over the week.
Brixham played a key role in WW2 as the American 4th Infantry Division departed from Breakwater Beach to land in Normandy on June 6th 1944. On the evening of 5th June, there will be Vigil Service in St Mary’s Church in commemoration of those who served and sacrificed from all nations. On the 6th June, The British Legion will lead a parade from the ‘Man and Boy’ statue for a short inter-denominational service of commemoration on Breakwater Beach. At 6pm, an air raid siren will sound the ‘All-Clear’, followed by the Last Post.
To celebrate the freedoms won by our forebears, the day ends with a concert by AJ’s Big Band – a 17 piece band playing a range of 1940s music in Brixham Theatre.
John Brennan, Chair of Brixham Future said “We hope that, with over 60 activities planned, each day will offer something for everyone to enjoy. It’s been a community effort – shops, cafes and Brixham businesses have all come together to commemorate the 75th anniversary of D-Day and provide educational, entertaining activities for all generations.”