This is an archived press release
Wednesday 21 May 2014
Dad's Army it is not – a new exhibition looking back to when the Peak District moors played a serious part in the Allied war effort opens on Saturday May 31 at Langsett Barn Ranger Centre, near Penistone.
Few motorists speeding past Langsett and Midhope moors these days realise that in the Second World War, they were an important training ground for British, Canadian, American and Polish troops, especially tank crews, in the run-up to D-Day.
Air crews from the famous 'Dambusters' 617 Squadron and – yes – the Home Guard, used it too.
Local people accommodated them, farmers supported them, grandparents remember them, while to this day bullet holes scar the rocks and bunkers slowly crumble into the landscape. Rather more scarily, walkers can come across rusty unexploded shells (like that pictured right) – the advice is do not touch, note the spot and call police.
The exhibition has been organised by the Langsett and Midhope at War Group – Milo Milinkovic, Duncan Sissons and Ian Winterburn from Woodhead Mountain Rescue Team (who often help police when live ammunition is found), working together with local military historian Mike Kirby.
For the past two years, supported by a National Heritage Lottery grant, they have gathered oral stories, photographs and archived material to capture the era for posterity.
Duncan Sissons said: "I'm proud to have had the privilege to meet and record the memories of so many interesting local people."
The exhibition is being launched with an Open Day from 11am to 3pm on May 31 at the 400-year-old Langsett Barn, now a Ranger Centre run by the Peak District National Park Authority and Yorkshire Water, just off the A616.
They are still wanting new stories or memorabilia and would be delighted to receive them on the day.
For background go to www.langsettandmidhopeatwar.co.uk
Picture shows ammunition found on Langsett Moor (copyright Adrian Ashworth).