Get ready for Fife’s newest festival, Defend Fife World War II, which takes place on the 29th and 30th September across Dunfermline city centre and at Lathalmond between 10am and 5pm. With captivating street theatre, exciting exhibitions and toe-tapping music, the thrilling story of Fife’s secret defence points will be brought to life for the very first time.
Discover the story of 1940s Dunfermline, which had its defenses strengthened in the war years against infiltration from enemy tanks and paratroopers. Investigate the recently unearthed confidential maps and plans, drawn up by the allied Polish armies, who were exiled to Scotland during World War II. These plans – which were an enforcement of the roadblocks, checkpoints and fighting positions created by Dunfermline’s home guard – were prepared in the result of ultimate invasion. The festival will retell this interesting story through the eyes of the Scottish and Polish soldiers who worked hard to ensure Fife remained protected.
Organised by Forth Pilgrim Ltd., the festival has received financial support from Fife Council and the Polish Consulate for Scotland. It is hoped that the festival will open the door to new international partnerships and cultural collaborations between Fife and Poland for future years.
The festival follows a yearlong project to create a comic book about the plans, which will be made available bilingually as a free learning resource to primary schools in Fife, with an additional e-book hosted online.
Roger Pickering, Director of Forth Pilgrim said, ‘We first discovered this story in 2012, after uncovering a defense on the edge of Pittencreiff Park with the help of Fife Council’s archaeology team. Five years later, we’re delighted to be showcasing this find alongside the illustrated maps and plans in this flagship festival. We hope this is the first of many untold stories to be presented in Scotland’s ancient capital.’
Gordon Mole, Fife Council’s Senior Manager for Business & Employability, said, ‘We are delighted that HLF have match funded the award made by the Council’s Strategic Events Investment Programme for Defend Fife WWII. We are very pleased to be supporting this new event and are confident this will draw a significant audience from all over Scotland and beyond because of the content and quality of the programme in celebrating and commemorating the remarkable events which took place in Dunfermline during the Second World War.’
Offering live interpretation across heritage sites in Fife, Forth Pilgrim Ltd. delivers educational, inspiring and entertaining workshops and walks, primarily dealing with Medieval History. The organisation are a leading partner in driving forward a new tourist route for the region, the Fife Pilgrim Way.