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Play marks 70th anniversary Tyneham village requisition
A PLAY marking the 70th anniversary of the requisition of Tyneham village is staged next month.
Tyneham Times Remembered, essentially a tribute to the villagers barred from returning to their homes, was first performed by a Corfe Castle drama group in 1994.
In November, the amateur dramatic group Double Act, including a former resident and Tyneham descendants, will resurrect the original play to mark the anniversary.
Indeed, the three performance dates – at Corfe Castle Village Hall – correspond to the same week that 225 Tyneham villagers received their eviction notices from the War Office.
Tyneham village and neighbouring hamlets were cleared in 1943 to enable Allied forces to train for the D-Day landings.
The villagers always thought one day they would be able to return home, but after the war Tyneham became the permanent property of the Ministry of Defence.
Soldiers continued to use the area to train and today the ‘ghost village’ remains part of the army’s Lulworth Ranges.
Double Act spokesman Peter Smith said: “The play begins at the end of the nineteenth century and ends in 1943. It is made up of stories recollected by villagers in interviews or written down and published over the years.
“It touches on school activities, village entertainment and stories. It includes tales of contraband, songs children’s games and the gathering of the mackerel harvest.”
Mr Smith said the play highlights the villagers’ belief they were contributing to the war effort and that they would be able to return home after hostilities ended.
On the production set for November, Mr Smith said: “This community project started in January and includes many locals, from youngsters and teenagers through to more mature folk and also musicians. It includes a former resident and some descendants of Tyneham folk, as well as some of the original play’s cast members.”
Performances take place at Corfe Castle Village Hall on November 21, 22 and 23, at 7.30pm, with a 2.30pm matinee on the Saturday.
Tickets from Corfe Castle Post Office or via 01929 480 323.
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