10:42am Monday 12th August 2013
SOLDIERS invaded South Wales this weekend – but now they’ve gone home again.
More than 40 actors came to Blaenavon Ironworks to re-enact World War II scenes over the weekend.
They staged a loud battle on Saturday at 2pm when German forces invaded the ironworks.
Pyrotechnics added drama to the skirmish, with children looking on in excitement as the air raid siren sounded and residents prepared to fight.
Dressed in khaki uniforms, the British troops back the invading forces, diving to the ground to avoid injury, as audience members held their breath.
Cadw and The South Wales Borderers’ Second World War re-enactment group hosted the weekend event, “Defence at Blaenavon – a Welsh town at war”.
Pru Williams, lead custodian at the Ironworks, said: “It’s wonderful. It’s very busy – there’s hundreds of visitors on site. It’s going really well – everyone seems to be enjoying the day. We have got lots of families.”
She said guests looked forward to the annual event.
Visitors over the weekend could drink in the Wheat Sheaf, a 1940s-style pub where they could listen to songs of the period, meet the Glamorgan Home Guard and the South Wales Screaming Eagles and talk to medic teams.
They could also mingle with men and women in 1940s outfits as they walked around the site. There was also a military mobile hospital, radio room, public house, artillery and vehicles from the period.
Soldiers from both sides demonstrated their weapons and there was a chance to listen to stories of life on the home front told by the firesides of Stack Square.
Guests were also reminded of soldiers fighting in the 21st century, and Help For Heroes had a gazebo and were collecting donations.
The free event lasted from 10am until 4pm.
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