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Hundreds repeat evacuees' journey

Published 01/07/2015

The evacuations took children from inner city Belfast to rural Co Down
The evacuations took children from inner city Belfast to rural Co Down

Hundreds of people are planning to replicate the journey made by Second World War evacuees.

Commemorative walks to mark the 75th anniversary of the start of evacuations from inner city Belfast to rural Co Down are due to take place this weekend.

The events have been organised by the Belfast and County Down Railway Company which operated the first evacuation trains to Comber, Saintfield, Ballynahinch and Downpatrick in July 1940.

Chairman Robert Pue said: "The railway that carried those evacuees was closed in 1950 and the route now forms the Comber Greenway, so unfortunately in 2015 'evacuees' will have to walk.

"Along the way they will be issued with an evacuee number and will receive a ration book which will be stamped, and the holder will be issued with their rations.

"The event will begin with an air raid siren reminiscent of the sound that was so common in Belfast during the Second World War."

Two walks will leave the former Bloomfield railway station in east Belfast from 11am and 1pm on Saturday.

More information is available at

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