The weekend of 19th and 20th August saw Garlieston’s First Military Weekend take place.
A joint event between Garlieston Community Council, Galloway Tanks and the Harbour Inn. Just over £1,300 was raised for South West Scotland RnR Military Charity.
The weekend was hosted by Galloway Tanks and military vehicles from the Scottish Military Vehicle Group and D Company from Northern Ireland travelled to Garlieston for the whole weekend. They were joined by exhibits from the Dumfries & Galloway Aviation Museum and the Solway Aviation Museum. Newton Stewart’s Army Cadet Force took part in fieldcraft and first aid displays and Galloway Tanks provided opportunities to ride on a tank, have a go at archery and Lee Enfield (World War rifle) shooting.
Kerry Lloyd headed up Kerry’s Field Kitchen along with her volunteers to keep the troops fed!
One of the highlights was the military vehicle parade around Garlieston Village. The village had been decorated with bunting and the convoy was greeted by locals and visitors. At the head of the convoy was “Johnny” a 1939 Morris 10/4 Series M, which has only had two owners from new the second owners being Julian and Christine Tighe.
Saturday night saw 90 people, many in period dress, join together in Garlieston’s decorated village hall to dance the night away in 1940s/50s style. The Barn Howlers, a visiting ukulele band played and sang all evening.
Carol Lochrie, Chairman of Garlieston Community Council said: “Garlieston has a very special history in relation to the testing of the Mulberry Harbour during World War Two and we’d like to see this weekend become a regular annual event that celebrates the village’s important role.”
Garlieston village became part of the secret Mulberry Harbour project. It was chosen as the beach and sea bed was similar to the proposed harbour point in Normandy. The remoteness of the area was another factor that Garlieston and surrounding area was selected for testing during 1943 and 1944. A fixed pierhead from the harbours remained and could be seen in Rigg Bay until it was destroyed by a storm in 2006.
Stephen Hanna, Manager of Galloway Tanks would like to thank everyone for their support and particularly all the volunteers who helped to make the weekend a success.