Maybole Commemorates the 60th Anniversary of the End of WWII
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Left to right: Dave Killicoat (Maybole Historical Society); Councillor Alan Murray; David Hunter (chairman of Maybole branch of the Royal British Legion Scotland); Susan Whiteman (chairman of Maybole Community Association); Rev Dave Whiteman (chaplain to Maybole branch of the Royal British Legion Scotland); Alex Kelly (vice chairman of Maybole Community Council); Archie Scobie and Murray Cook of Maybole Historical Society.

Maybole Community Council has been awarded £10,000 to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II.

The money has been awarded by the Home Front Recall Fund which is a joint Lottery grants programme supported by the Big Lottery Fund and Heritage Lottery Fund and the cheque was presented by Councillor Alan Murray at Maybole Castle on Sunday.

David Kiltie, chairman of the community council, said, “A whole series of events has been planned for Maybole to celebrate the end of World War II with veterans of the war, to especially remember the efforts of those unsung heroes of the home front whose contribution was equally as important, and to give modern day children some inkling of what life was like during the war years. We are very grateful to the Big Lottery Home Front Recall Fund which has made this possible.”

Davie Hunter, chairman of Maybole branch of the Royal British Legion Scotland – the oldest branch in the country – added, “I am delighted the funds have been awarded, especially as this will probably be the last official celebration of the end of the war.”

The £10,000 will go towards meeting the costs of a drumhead service on Sunday August 21 and a reception afterwards; two concerts later in the year and the publication of a commemorative booklet which will contain memories of Maybole during the war years from 1939-45.

The community council will be working in partnership with the Maybole branch of the Royal British Legion Scotland – the oldest branch in the country; Maybole Historical Society and Maybole Community Association to make sure all the events go well.

Big Lottery Fund Board Member, David Campbell, said: "The Big Lottery Fund is delighted to be supporting the WWII commemorations in Maybole this summer. I am particularly pleased to see that people of all ages and from all backgrounds will be taking part. For young people in particular these events will help them to gain a greater understanding of how their communities were affected during the war. I'm sure a great day will be had by all."

All veterans and groups who normally take part in the annual Remembrance services are invited to parade with their colours on August 21. The parade musters at the Greenside at 1.45pm and will be led by Maybole Pipe Band to Memorial Park for the drumhead service which will be conducted by Rev Whiteman.

Dave Killicoat, of Maybole Historical Society, outlined other events which will be run and funded separately by the Fund.

“The weekend after the drumhead service,” he told us, “we have ‘MAYBOLE ON THE HOME FRONT’ which will be a special exhibition in Maybole Castle of documents, photographs and artefacts all relating to Maybole between 1939 and 1945. This will be on Saturday/Sunday 27th/28th August from 10am to 4pm with military vehicles from WWII on display in the Castle grounds.”

He continued, “Then we have ‘DIG FOR VICTORY’ when we will invite everyone to bring their prize vegetables along to the castle on Sunday 11th September at 2.00pm. Prizes will be awarded for the biggest and most unusual.”

He also issued a challenge to local people asking them, “How well could you eat on a week’s rations from 1945?” Dave is inviting everyone to pick up an entry form locally and give the Society the best recipe from the list of rations. He added, “The best will be cooked and tasted on Sunday 11th September in the Castle at 2.00 pm and prizes awarded. In addition, the recipes will be published in a booklet which will be available from local outlets.”

The displays of documents, photographs and artefacts from WWII can also be viewed between 2.00pm and 5.00pm on the same day.

Also in September there will be a very special day at Culzean with displays, a big party and other attractions including WWII military vehicles, equipment and personnel in uniform.

Later in the year special concerts will be held in the Town Hall and a book of WWII Maybole Memories will be published

During World War II a Home Guard detachment was formed in the town, air raid wardens appointed, air raid shelters built, the Town Hall doors and windows sandbagged, guards placed on the water works and every possible defensive precaution brought into force.

Children from other towns were boarded with local people, detachments of the Inniskillens and Scots Guards were stationed for a time in the town and a prisoner of war camp was created at Ballony. Those who stayed at home played their part in the war effort as did the soldiers who had gone abroad with their fighting units.

For several years Maybole folk survived a period of food and clothes rationing, blackouts, air raid warnings and other alarms.

A fund was raised by the townsfolk to send parcels to their fighting men during the war and a Welcome Home Fund was set up in 1944, to collect money to entertain the men on their return when peace was declared.

The amount raised amounted to £3,518 and this was distributed among the returning soldiers and the relatives of those who had been killed. Scrolls were prepared conveying the thanks of the people of Maybole for the services given to the nation by the serving men and women and each returning combatant was given a scroll with a gift of £4 in cash.

In all 747 serving men and women received such scrolls and cash gifts while 29 war widows also received similar scrolls and gifts. When the fund was cleared a balance of £66 was gifted to the town's Common Good Fund.

The names of the 29 killed in action were inscribed on the cenotaph which had been erected in the Memorial Park after the 1914-18 war.