WE ARE BACK!

Starting from Saturday 23 May 2020

Revised route, new content, restricted group size, name your own price.

On 18 May 2020, the Northern Ireland Executive announced some amendments to the COVID-19 containment measures.

One of those changes allows for small gatherings (up to 6 people) from more than one household in an outdoor environment – provided effective Social Distancing is maintained.

Getting out of the house seems more important than ever. Combining exercise, fresh air and a bit of education seems like a good way to spend some of your time.

I could do with ‘keeping my hand in’ and I’ve also taken the calculated decision to renew my Public Liability Insurance.

Consequently, I will be offering Guided Walking Tours of Carrickfergus, looking specifically at events here during the Second World War, on the following basis:

  • There will be no “just turn up” Tours – all must be pre-arranged. Drop me an email (leadthewaytourcarrickfergus@gmail.com), give me a call/text (+44 7916780474), or send me a Facebook Message (https://www.facebook.com/leadthewaytour), and I’ll do my very best to organise a day and time that suits you.
  • Tours can be delivered on most days: morning, afternoon or evening.
  • Each pre-arranged Tour must be made up of people who are known to each other.
  • Maximum of 5 persons on each Tour.
  • Those who come on the Tour MUST adhere to Social Distancing.

PUBLIC SAFETY IS PARAMOUNT

ROUTE

The Tour route will be slightly different than before, to ensure it is delivered within the official guidance in regard to outdoor spaces.

It is about 1.3 miles long, and will take around 90 minutes to complete.

The route is on level ground with safe crossing points.

If you want to include more exercise into your Tour, it can be extended up to 3 miles to include walking out of the Town Centre to some of the locations that I talk about.

CONTENT

The Tour covers the following topics:

  • Background on the Churchill Tank displayed on the Marine Highway, the North Irish Horse Regiment that used it during the Second World War, and why Carrickfergus was so important in the development of the Tank
  • Factories in Carrickfergus that made a hugely significant contribution to the War effort
  • Domestic life in the town: The Home Front
  • The special uses of the town’s Civic Buildings
  • How the Town Centre’s infrastructure changed throughout the War, particularly when the American Troops arrived
  • The Sunnylands Army Camp – from British to American to Belgian occupation
  • The formation, and onward journey, of the US Rangers
  • A new Belgian Army
  • Carrickfergus Military Prison and Detention Barracks
  • The Military Petrol Distributing Centre

I use approximately 150 photographs to help tell the story of events in Carrickfergus during the Second World War. These photos have been enlarged to A4 size, so are visible from 2 metres to maintain social distancing.

I also have a few exhibits which I bring along. However, due to their fragility, if the weather conditions are not favourable I may not be able to display these –  apologies in advance if this is the case on your Tour.

 On a “normal” Tour, I display these in an indoor environment.

NAME YOUR PRICE

There is no set cost for the Tour, in the current circumstances. At the conclusion of each Tour you can, if you want, make a donation of your own choice. Although this would be very welcomed to help cover my set-up and running costs, it is not a requirement.

PREVIOUS PARTICIPANTS

Anyone who has previously been on my Tour may wish to know that during the lockdown I have spent considerable time adding content to the Tour. If you would like to join me for an Update Tour, where I only cover the additional content from the previous Tour, please get in touch.

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to get in touch.

Adrian

We’ll meet again……

It has been a staggering month or so.

As the New Year started, I was in the final planning stage of delivering some large-scale Tours over the V.E. Day weekend in early May. I was involved in organising an inter-generational lunch to bring together people who lived through the Second World War and young school pupils who are our future. I was testing new content to be included in this year’s Tours. New professional marketing was almost completed.

Now, I’m into the fourth week of adhering to Scientific and Medical advice and doing my bit to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 virus by staying indoors unless absolutely necessary.

I am in awe of the work done by a huge range of key workers who are looking after our welfare. Health workers, public servants, post & parcel delivery staff, retail workers, transportation personnel, and many others.

Like most of the travel, tourism and hospitality sector, I have not been able to operate during the lockdown. Disappointing as this is, I understand that protecting lives comes first. The least we can do is act selflessly to ensure the safety of our fellow citizens during this unprecedented period.

I have put some of the enforced hometime to good use. I have discovered more information of activities that took place in Carrickfergus during the Second World War, and intend to include this in the Tour, whenever I am able to re-start offering them.

As I sit here at the keyboard, I have no idea how soon it will be before my Tour can re-commence. Realistically, it may be well into the summer, or maybe even beyond.

In the meantime, I’ll keep digging for more to add to the Tour. If you have any information that you think I could include, please get in touch. Similarly, if you have any questions, give me a shout.

Most importantly of all: Stay at Home, protect the Health & Social Services, Save Lives.

Adrian

COVID-19 Update

It feels like I am having to update information about the impact of COVID-19 on my Tour almost every day. However, this is such an important and fluid situation that I don’t mind. Better safe than sorry.

The most recent official advice includes: 

To slow the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus) the general public are being asked to stay at home as much as possible and avoid unnecessary social contact.

People over 70 and those who have high risk and underlying health conditions are being strongly advised to stay at home as much as possible and significantly reduce unnecessary social contact.

People should minimise social contact by avoiding crowded areas and large gatherings, including religious congregations and smaller gatherings such as restaurants, pubs, bars, clubs, cinemas and gyms.

In light of this advice, I am suspending my public Tours for the foreseeable future.

If, however, you would like a private Tour, please get in touch. In the circumstances, I am reducing the minimum group size for private Tours to two people. The maximum group size will be six people. These changes will allow a Tour to be conducted in manner that will allow a safe distance to be maintained throughout the Tour.

Even if you don’t come on a Tour, please try to get out and about in the fresh air as much as is practical in the circumstances, and follow the most current advice available. It’s good for your health and wellbeing.

Above everything else, though. please be safe.

Thank you for your continued support.

Adrian

Happy New Year

A new year and a new decade begins.

From a Second World War perspective, 2020 brings us the 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe (V.E.) Day on the 8th May and Victory over Japan (V.J.) Day on August the 15th (though the United States of America commemorate V.J. Day on the 2nd of September).

V.E. Day is on a Friday, and I’m delighted that the Government has moved the May Bank Holiday to this date this year.

I am in the planning stages for a variation of my standard Walking Tours to take place over the V..E Day weekend, and I hope to soon be able to share details of a special extended Tour on V.E. Day itself.

Standard Tours are available throughout the winter months on request – just get in touch.

In the meantime, I wish you the very best for a happy, peaceful and prosperous New Year.

Winter Tour Arrangements

During the winter period, there are a few changes to how you can join me for a Guided Walking Tour around Carrickfergus.

Scheduled Saturday morning Tours, offered on a “just turn up” basis, will stop after 26 October 2019 and re-start on 29 February 2020.

During this period, Walking Tours will continue to be available on request.

I know that weather conditions may have an impact on your decision to consider a Tour. I don’t mind getting wrapped up to tackle the elements, but it’s not everyone’s idea of fun. For that reason, I am more than prepared to consider requests for a Tour at short notice, so you can factor in the weather forecast. I will do my very best to fit something in for you.

To help with your planning, here are a few useful hints and tips:

  • To get the most from a Tour, it’s best it takes place during daylight hours.
  • I can include a supported visit to the US Rangers Museum where a Tour fits in with their opening times of Wednesday to Sunday, 11:00 – 15:00.
  • My contact details are here: Contact Me
  • Here’s a link to the BBC Weather Forecast: BBC Weather

More details about the Tour, including how to get here and other things you may want to do while in Carrickfergus, are available here: Lead The Way Tour Website

Please note, I will definitely be unavailable for Tours from 21 November through to 9 December.