80th Anniversary of D-Day

80th Anniversary of D-Day

Brixham Future CIC has confirmed final arrangements for the 80th Anniversary of D-Day. There will be 6 days of celebrations to mark this historic occasion with numerous displays, activities, exhibitions, films, music, dancing and entertainment. These include the Parade on the Thursday 6th June  in the town from the `Man and Boy` statue at 1030am on the Southern Quay to the Breakwater Beach for the 11am Commemoration Service, the  community sing-a-long  at 12 noon followed by a special tribute from Scottish Pipers. Brixham Town Band and the Brixham Orpheus Male Voice Choir will also support this historic event. The church bells in Brixham will ring out in tribute at 6.30pm as they will across the country to mark the event.

John Brennan, Chair of Brixham Future CIC said:

“We can also announce that the Brixham Museum will hold a special exhibition every day during festivities. There will be  a display of WW2 Models in the Conservative Club Sat and Sunday. The Brixham Battery will be also holding a special one-day event on Sunday 9th June between 11am and 4pm at Fishcombe Hill, Brixham, TQ5 8RU.

“We have already booked several musical events including 230pm -330pm Concerts on the Friday 7th and Sat 8th June in the Methodist and Baptist Churches which we are looking forward to.

We also have a major musical event on Sunday 9th June in the Prince William Square, on Southern Quay from 12 pm including Torbay Brass Band at 2pm.

We are committed to delivering small scale, quick win, low-cost event that enhance the town, highlighting our cultural heritage for both residents and visitors to enjoy. The basic idea is that by enhancing Brixham`s Culture offer from its rich history; we boost our community.

“Our thanks must be extended to everyone involved. Most of our local voluntary sector groups who are contributing their time and effort voluntarily to mark this special occasion.

Download full programme of events
Download short programme

Win a luxury cruise

Win a luxury cruise

Olivia Sibly from Ledbury, Hertfordshire recently took to the skies in a WW2 Spitfire as the winner of Brixham Future’s D-Day75 prize draw. She said “We had a fantastic day. No cloud and we looped the loop and did barrel rolls over the Needles. Thank you to Brixham Future and we wish you every success in your town.”

The winning ticket was was purchased in Middle Street, Brixham on a family outing to the town in early part of the year and was one of  543 tickets sold which raised £2,000 to help fund the free events and exhibitions during the D-Day celebrations from 1st to 9th June.

Brixham Future is already working on a programme of events to mark VE Day on 8th -10th May 2020 and this year’s  lottery prize is
a luxury cruise for 2 people !
Tickets are £5 each and make great Christmas presents! Full details here.
Special Brixham memories for 100 year old D-Day Veteran

Special Brixham memories for 100 year old D-Day Veteran

A D-Day veteran from Arizona, Harold Wood, celebrated his 100th birthday with a bumper box of Brixham memorabilia, thanks to his good friend, Rick Emry and Brixham Chamber.

As Harold had served as a radio operator in Brixham during the build up to D-Day, his friend, Rick Emry contacted Brixham Chamber via their website, to see if any Brixham items and some form of official recognition could be sent across to the US to celebrate Harold’s special birthday.

Mike Franchi of Brixham Chamber said “We replied immediately to Rick that we would be delighted to help. Together with Brixham Future and the Brixham Branch of the Royal British Legion, we arranged a special certificate, 100th birthday card and a package of Brixham souvenirs, books and information leaflets to be sent to Harold via Rick.”

The items were presented to Harold at his birthday celebration on 16th February. Rick said “Harold was overwhelmed to say the least. He has since set up small display of the certificate and the other items that were sent in his room and enjoys coffee daily from his Brixham mug.”

Harold said “I felt I should let you know how much I appreciate the “Brixham Collection” you gave me. I expect to have many happy hours poring over each item. As you can guess, Brixham has special memories for me.”

Harold was stationed in Brixham from May 1944, lodging at the Berry Head Hotel from where he was picked up each morning and transported to the radar station a few miles away. His most chilling memory of the war was seeing ships loaded with men departing from Torbay for the D-Day invasion.

In 1947 his sister flew on an army transport to England to marry a British pilot officer. On Harold’s recommendation they honeymooned at the Berry Head Hotel.

In 1984, Harold and his wife returned to Brixham and took in the 40th Anniversary commemoration of D-Day.

You can read more of Harold’s story at:  http://www.brixhamfuture.co.uk/harolds-story/

WW2 Brixham’s lasting legacy

WW2 Brixham’s lasting legacy

Details have been revealed of a series of information boards which  are to be erect­ed to commemorate Brix­ham’s role during the Second World War.

The  project has  been organised by  regeneration group Brixham  Future which is aiming to create  a ‘lasting legacy’. Eight    boards,  to be installed to  mark the  75th anniversary of D-Day, will feature different aspects of wartime Brixham.

Brixham Future spokes­man John Brennan explained: “The Churchill Memorial Garden site  was originally houses demolished to create the  turning circle for  Sher­man  tanks to  embark from the slipway below.

“We are delivering a major improvement by erecting eight  one-metre square infor­mation boards on the garden walls  alongside other  poten­tial improvements.

“The  information boards, which are intended to last for the  next  25 years, will  link Winston Churchill, Second World War, D-Day and local people and the  site in text and pictures. The  site will become an educational focal point.”

The  boards will include information about wartime prime minister Winston Churchill, after whom the gardens were named.

Homes were demolished where the  gardens are  now in 1943 to provide space  for American tanks to embark as part of the  4th  Infantry American Division  which  led the  invasion of Europe. The town’s war memorial records the  deaths of 125  Brixham people in the conflict.

Brixham,  is known as ‘the town that helped liberated Europe’ as it played  a crucial role on sea, land and air. In  the  key  24 hours of D­ Day  June 6, 1944,  the  first American ground  troops landing on  Utah beach departed from the  slipway below the gardens.

The boards will also record how  many Brixham people volunteered to evacuate people from Belgium’s coastal ports. Coastal defences were built from 1939 including large  artillery emplacements and smaller shoreline defences such as beach obstacles and machine gun emplacements.

Out of an original 130 such installations, only two remain open to  the  public, one  of which is  Brixham’s own Battery Gardens.

The  port’s role  in  D-Day was  crucial  to the  liberation of Europe  as many of the first ground troops and heavy equipment embarked from the  port’s ramps were des­tined for Utah beach.

More  detailed information can be seen in Brixham Heritage Museum.

Original story by Ellen Grindley in Brixham News.

Brixham Future – 75th Anniversary of D-Day

Brixham Future – 75th Anniversary of D-Day

Brixham played a crucial role in the liberation of Europe. The American 4th Division departed our harbour and landed on the first beach to be liberated – Utah. Allied forces and refugees were welcomed into our community and many remain in our local churchyard.

We intend to hold a major commemoration event on the 75th Anniversary of D-Day next year. We anticipate that local groups, voluntary organisations, commercial and professional interests will participate in some way. It may be a display or activity of some sort that is pertinent to the event.

It will boost our town. We intend to hold specific a specific event on the 6th June and have a guest list of 300 national and local dignitaries. We anticipate crowds of 10,000 people for the public events. We have for example pre-booked the ‘Battle of Britain’ memorial flight and several other attractions for that week.

Other Brixham organisations, clubs, companies or societies etc will be celebrating the week. We can therefore adjust our early programme to suit and include you in publicity.

We would be delighted if you would consider doing something around a 1940’s theme to celebrate this historical event between Saturday 1st to Sunday 9th June 2019 next year.

We can provide further details in due course. I am contactable on 01803 852270 or email johnjosephmbrennan@hotmail.co.uk if you want to discuss further.

We would be grateful for a response by the 1st September so that we can plan accordingly.

John Brennan
Project Lead
Brixham Future CIC