East Fortune is indeed ‘fortunate’ to have such a wonderful museum. I was delighted to take up the invitation to go along to the Museum’s “Second World War Days” event on the first weekend in May where a fun day was had by all ages. Our pigeons formed part of the ‘Communications’ exhibit and visitors to the stand were able to find out more about the role our racing pigeons played in both the First and Second World Wars. Despite a cold breeze, the sun stayed out as Various military groups took part in events over the two days, there were aerobatic displays from a period biplane, explosions as battles were re-enacted and children were invited to try on military uniforms and even get ‘drafted’ as new recruits to RAF East Fortune. There was a tented camp showing how troops lived in the field and parades of military vehicles. It wasn’t just about the armed services though, Civvy Street was well represented with demonstrations of how people had to ‘make do and mend’ and there was a traditional ‘Tea Dance’ and examples of many of the street games played by children of the time.
As usual out pigeons proved highly popular over both days and on the Sunday, children were invited to race mark the pigeons. There was a great deal of excitement as they were allowed to pick a pigeon, give it a name and put a rubber ring on ready for racing. Later, many of the children had the opportunity to release them one at a time just as they would have been released by the military to carry information back to base.
Thank you to Robert Todd of Carluke for lending me his version of a ‘Nomad’ training box, to Tom Davidson of East of Scotland for bringing along his pigeons for a Sunday release and a special thanks to Douglas Bald for lending me his display stand. Look out for this event next year, it’s a great family day out.
Click here to see photographs taken at the Second World War Days at Flight Museum.