Friday, 21 January 2011

History project seeks wartime memories of Gleniffer Braes

The Renfrewshire Community website has an article about a project documenting the history of Glennifer Braes and the secret role the are played in the Second World War:

A project documenting the history of Gleniffer Braes is appealing for Renfrewshire residents to come forward with their memories of the area's secret World War II role.

Between August 1941 and March 1942, an anti-aircraft battery and decoy runway were built on the Braes. The work was part of Operation Starfish – a decoy network of dummy airfields intended to lure the Luftwaffe away from industrial and military targets across the West of Scotland.

Anyone who has memories, personally or through the involvement of family or friends – is being urged to come forward by 25 January and have their recollections recorded for an oral history section of a project to document this period in the history of Gleniffer Braes.

The oral history recollections will form part of an exhibition at Paisley Museum between 26 May and 21 August 2011 about Gleniffer Braes entitled 'Walking in Tannahill’s footsteps.' The title recalls the inspiration which the weaver poet Robert Tannahill drew from the natural environment of the Gleniffer Braes, which is now a country park.

The exhibition will explore the diverse heritage of Gleniffer Braes including its natural history, social history, geology, landscape and association with WWII.

The partnership approach to preparing the exhibition is being led by the Heritage Action Team of the Gleniffer Braes Green Network.

That brings together a number of local, regional, national organisations and voluntary groups who are interested in the heritage and environment of Gleniffer Braes.

"The involvement of Gleniffer Braes in WWII is one of the most fascinating aspects of the area’s history," said Councillor Eileen McCartin, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Community and Family Care Policy Board.

"The physical evidence of the area’s wartime involvement is shown in the fact that Gleniffer Braes has over 32 craters from the bombs dropped by German aircraft.

"Most are now grassed over but at the time some of them were 2 metres wide.

“There will be documents and maps on this period in the exhibition but it would be great if we could get people’s memories on tape. I’d urge anyone who can contribute something to come forward."

Anyone interested should contact by 25 January the Glen Lodge Visitor Centre, Land Services team, Gleniffer Braes Country Park on 0141 884 3794 or e-mail

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