For the first time ever, Jersey War Tunnels will host a week of special events in commemoration of Liberation. The attraction will be opening day and night to offer a whole programme of talks, events and celebrations to mark the very special 70th Anniversary of Liberation.
As the Island’s most popular tourist attraction, the Tunnels will play host to a huge array of celebratory and educational events to highlight the importance of our Island’s history. A percentage of proceeds from every event will be donated to the British Red Cross.
The festivities will commence on Monday 4th May and continue until Sunday 10th May. Special activities include everything from a pop-up cinema screening of the iconic Dambusters, to a war trail foraging expedition with celebrity chef Shaun Rankin, to special talks with Occupation veterans and evacuees.
A major highlight of the week will be an audience with Gulf War veteran John Peters on Wednesday 6th May. Captured and tortured in the 1st Gulf War, John’s legendary story is both powerful and moving. The audience will get the rare opportunity to meet the man and ask him questions about his spine-chilling experiences of conflict and his extraordinary understanding of liberation and freedom.
There’s also the chance to explore the Tunnels by night for the first time in a Candlelight tour on Monday 4th May; a thought provoking experience for both locals and visitors alike. A war themed Murder Mystery event titled ‘Secrets and Spies’ will be held on the evening of Friday 8th May. The script has been specially written for Jersey War Tunnels by local writer Nick Carver in celebration of the 70th Anniversary of Liberation.
Throughout the week, living history actors will feature reenacting Occupation scenes to provide a more realistic interpretation of what life was like under German rule. Personal stories will also be retold by evacuees and Occupation veterans in the brand new Liberation Theatre, including a talk by Bob Le Sueur on 6th May.
Celebrity chef Shaun Rankin will be hosting a foraging lesson to explore what today’s War Trail has to offer on Thursday 7th May. Participants will forage for ingredients in the morning and then see the master at work as he turns them into a delightful lunch for all taking part. Everyone will also get the chance to experience Occupation drinks such as ground parsnip coffee in The Pantry café all week and see an educational demonstration by Shaun Rankin on Occupation foods on Monday 4th May.
A centerpiece of the Jersey War Tunnels festivities will be a Vintage Fair held on Monday 4th May. The Tunnels have extended a special offer of 2 for 1 entry to the Tunnels and 2 for 1 on painting activities at the Nest Art Studio on that day. They will also be announcing the winner of their Liberation Plate Competition – a creative initiative that is open to all Primary School aged children in the Island (see www.jerseywartunnels.com for further details).
Kathy Bechelet, Operations Manager, Jersey War Tunnels, says:
‘This is the most ambitious programme of events that we have ever held at Jersey War Tunnels. We are determined to make the 70th Anniversary of Liberation special for everyone and so we have designed a programme that will engage with all age groups in our community and help keep our history alive.
We are especially delighted to be welcoming John Peters to our Island to host a very special and poignant evening. He is an astonishing speaker and we are so fortunate that he has agreed to join us to mark this milestone in our history.
We are really excited to be opening up in the evening for this momentous year. Jersey War Tunnels will be a hive of activity and jubilations and we hope everyone will join us throughout the week to mark the occasion and help us raise important funds for the British Red Cross’.
Bev Dallas-Chapman, Senior community fundraiser for the British Red Cross in Jersey, says:
‘We are really excited to have been chosen as this year’s charity benefiting from funds raised at Jersey War Tunnels. The money raised will help us to do more of our vital work supporting people in crisis locally and overseas.
The relationship between the Red Cross and the Channel Islands is a strong one thanks to the aid delivered by the SS Vega during the Second World War. It’s great to be associated with such high-profile local events that help us to commemorate that assistance and raise the profile of the work we do today. The replica model boat of the SS Vega is already in place in the lobby of the ticket office at the JWT and I would urge as many people as possible to go to see this amazing boat and visit the Jersey War Tunnels’.
Tickets for the special events will go on sale mid-April. You will be able to purchase them from the Jersey War Tunnels website: www.jerseywartunnels.com or by calling: 01534 860808
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