Talk and tour will bring back memories of ‘Gibs’

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Ballymena Borough Council is appealing for local people who recall Gibraltarian evacuees coming to Ballymena during the latter stages of World War 2 to get in contact.

July 2014 marked the 70th Anniversary of the arrival of civilians from Gibraltar. They were housed in specially built camps several of which were located in the Borough of Ballymena.

To celebrate this historic link between Ballymena and Gibraltar, the Council is asking anyone in the Borough who has friends, family or any form of connections/ associations with the Gibraltar evacuations to come forward and share their recollections of the period.

Greg Winning, who is collating information, said: “If people have any stories, memories, photographs or documents from the time we would love to hear from you.

“We are trying to build a better picture of life as it was for the evacuees and local people living in the area back in 1944 and also, the relationships that grew and flourished beyond the camps long after the war was over and the camps were no longer in use.”

To commemorate the anniversary a series of events have been organised including a guided tour of the Gibraltarian evacuation camps at Dunaird and Drummack in Broughshane, followed by ‘In conversation: Memories of Gibraltar’, a discussion with a local historian, Jennifer McLernon, at Houston’s Mill. The tour and talk will be taking place on Friday 3rd October between 12.30pm – 4.30pm.

There will also be a World War 2 reminiscence session delivered by Mid Antrim Museum, with light refreshments and an opportunity to share further stories and memories of the time.

For a full programme please see www.thebraid.com

If you would like to share any memories of the times or if you were connected to the Gibraltarian evacuees please contact greg.winning@ballymena.gov.uk or Tel. (028)25635916