Going to the flicks to get a taste of Blitz

Schoolchildren take part in a wartime cinema experience as part of Armed Forces Week.
Schoolchildren take part in a wartime cinema experience as part of Armed Forces Week.
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To the youngsters of today, it seems difficult to comprehend.

As German forces repeatedly bombed the cities of Britain during the Blitz, thousands of children were evacuated to Blackpool.

The images of scared and homesick children from those days are a million miles away from life today.

But youngsters from across the Fylde coast have experienced a taste of the realities of wartime as part of Armed Forces Week.

Around 550 pupils from eight different primary schools took part in the experience, known as Going to the Flicks, at the Odeon cinema on Rigby Road, Blackpool.

The children visited the cinema yesterday and Tuesday.

As part of the project they were shown a 15-minute long film featuring a combination of both moving and still images.

It showed black and white footage of the Blitz and how children coped with its aftermath, finishing with a picture of Blackpool’s war memorial.

Organiser Ray Graham said: “It’s been fantastic and it’s been well received by all the schools.

“The Second World War and what children had to cope with during the Blitz is quite a serious subject.

“But there was definitely bags of enthusiasm and interest from the children.

“They got a lot out of it.”

They were also shown a Laurel and Hardy short which Ray said went down well with the young and modern audience.

He said: “There’s all the media on offer to children today, but they’re still laughing their heads off at Laurel and Hardy movies made 70 years ago.

“It was amazing to hear.”

There was also a question and answer session with current servicemen from the Royal Artillery and the Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment after the films had been shown.

The project is organised by community interest company Supporting Our Brave, which is based on Bank Hey Street, in Blackpool town centre.

n Events going ahead tomorrow are an Armed Forces Career information day at Blackpool Town Hall between 10am and 2pm and a free carvery meal for servicemen, veterans and their families at Coral Island on the Promenade, Blackpool, as a thank you for their dedication.