This fascinating period in modern history has been the topic of countless books, films and tv shows but if you think you know everything about how the war was won, Carrickfergus man Adrian Hack has something to show you.
His ‘Lead the Way’ guided walking tour uncovers the important role life on the home front, especially in Carrickfergus, played in the Allies defeat of the Axis powers.
Those taking part in Adrian’s Saturday morning tour will be transported back to the Carrickfergus of the late 1930s and early 1940s through the use of a wide range of photographs, artefacts and visits to key locations in the town.
"Not everyone is aware of the vital role Carrickfergus played during the war,” says Adrian. “I want the tour to lift the veil and ensure the efforts of those who lived through the Second World War endure.
"Working on this walking tour fills me with immense pride and satisfaction. It is my passion project and it’s hard to find the words to describe how amazing it makes you feel when you’re showing people who share your passion, something they may not have seen, or been aware of before.
"Not only that, but my job now gives me great flexibility to work around my family life as much as possible, whilst still having time to enjoy my hobbies in life. There is something special about doing what you love for work, and I will never take that for granted.”
Adrian was speaking as Tourism Northern Ireland continues it’s Make It Here campaign encouraging people to consider a career in tourism and hospitality by highlighting some of the often overlooked positive aspects of the industry.
Adrian believes that if someone has a passion and belief in a certain career then they should not be afraid to give it a go, and if you’re a ‘people person’ then the tourism and hospitality sector could be perfect for you. If you are considering switching careers and want to learn more about working in tourism visit www.makeyourcareer.co.uk
The tour — part of Discover Northern Ireland’s Embrace a Giant Spirit collection — starts and finishes at Carrickfergus Castle as participants learn how factories were converted to make essential products required on the front line, tanks were assembled, a linen factory was adapted to make parachutes and how and iconic US Battalion was formed. To find out more go to www.leadthewaytour.com
"Carrickfergus was identified as a crucial part of the infrastructure required for the US military and the first American communication base was set up here in early 1942,” explains Adrian.
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"The town is also where the 1st US Ranger Battalion — one of the key regiments on D-Day — was formed and we will visit the location where this took place. We will also see where civilians went to collect their gas masks, rationing book and identity cards.
“I honestly believe that anyone who comes on this tour will leave with a better understanding of the town in this period, but it is not a WW2 history lesson. It really is about Carrickfergus, it’s people and their response to world events between 1939 and 1945.”