Ards and North Down Borough Council and the Woodland Trust are delighted to announce their First World War commemorative celebrations at Bangor’s Castle Park on Saturday 1 August, from 11am to 4pm.
Step back in time with live music from a brass band; play Edwardian games; and sample trench cakes – and tastier treats – with Forage Ireland. Bring a picnic; take in the beauty of Castle Park; and watch a living history group: actors in the guise of a soldier in the trenches and a mother back home will offer a snapshot of history. Visitors are also invited to get to grips – literally – with the precious WW1 memorabilia within North Down Museum.
A commemorative tree-planting ceremony, with a helping hand from Woodland Trust supporter Dame Mary Peters, will take place at 2pm in remembrance of those who played a part in the war.
Dame Mary Peters CH, DBE said: “This special event marks the 100th anniversary of the First World War by offering a glimpse of wartime life.
“It’s a wonderful opportunity for everyone – adults and children – to enjoy a whole range of fun, yet respectful, activities within the beautiful setting of Bangor’s Castle Park.”
Mayor of Ards and North Down Borough Council, Alderman Alan Graham, added: “This will be a great family day out. There is something for everyone and in such stunning surroundings. It is important that we honour those that served, and this event will allow both young and old to do just that.”
This event is in keeping with the Woodland Trust’s Centenary Woods project: an ambitious tree-planting initiative to mark the 100th anniversary of the First World War.
Patrick Cregg, director of the Woodland Trust, said: “We’re creating a flourishing Centenary Wood in the beautiful Faughan Valley, in the north west. This new wood will be a living and lasting tribute to the people of Ireland who played a part in the First World War.
“Working together with the local Council, we’re now delighted to have the opportunity to offer a special event, with a First World War theme, closer to home. Dame Mary Peters’ attendance will be the icing on the cake, and we really hope that local people and visitors will join us for a wonderful afternoon.”
Meanwhile North Down Museum, a hidden gem within Castle Park, has been prominent in conveying the story of those that served in the war. Thanks to support from the Heritage Lottery Fund, Rebecca Gordon, the museum’s WW1 officer, has a series of events planned for the coming year. Two travelling exhibitions are set to tour the Borough, and an exhibition within the museum from 4 November 2015 to 10 January 2016 will explore how soldiers were entertained during the war and the contribution given by local women.
To find out more about August’s family fun day, please call 028 9127 1200 or visit www.northdownmuseum.com. Some activities must be pre-booked.