Arctic Convoy veteran visits international summer exhibition

convoys Loch ewe


One of the first visitors to the Russian Arctic Convoy Museum ‘Summer Exhibition’ in Wester Ross was Convoy Veteran Reay Clarke, seen above admiring one of the Arctic Convoy paintings donated to the Museum from school children in Siberia in Russia – the other end of the convoys’ epic wartime passages.

Veteran Reay, from Tain, was thrilled to have chance to view this special exhibition of local, regional, national and international significance which has opened its doors this summer in the North West Highlands.

The Wester Ross based Inverasdale School Heritage Group, working with the Russian Arctic Convoy Museum Project, have joined forces to create not one but two fascinating exhibitions which are running until the end of September at Inverasdale School

The ‘Summer Exhibition’ has further developed the very successful Open Days held during the recent annual WWII and Arctic Convoys Week in May, and Commemorative Day in June.

The two exhibitions cover the history of the local school and the story of the Russian Arctic Convoys, exploring the role of the local community. There are artefacts and memorabilia which have never been seen before in public view, and give a fascinating insight into the area during and before WWII.

Reay Clarke, who visited with his daughter in law, was extremely impressed with the content of the Summer Exhibition and gave his ongoing support to the plans for a permanent Museum across Loch Ewe at Aultbea, which will be dedicated to all those that took part in the Russian Arctic Convoys.

Both exhibitions will be open to the public every Wednesday and Friday afternoon (2.00 – 5.00pm) until the end of September, with teas and home baking available until 4.30pm.

The Russian Arctic Convoy Museum exhibition was prepared by Museum archivist Stuart Mackenzie with help from the Harrison family from Pool House, Poolewe and many others. Items have been donated by the growing number of Museum Project supporters worldwide, many from Veterans and their families, who are keen to see the story of the Arctic Convoys captured for future generations.

Chairman of the Russian Arctic Convoy Museum Project Francis Russell says: ‘We thank Liz Nicholson from the local Inverasdale School Heritage Group and her team, and Highland Council, for this opportunity to work together on this Summer Exhibition to show the fascinating history of Loch Ewe and its communities in times past.

‘We were delighted that over 40 Convoy Veterans were able to visit Inverasdale School exhibition during the recent Veterans Reunion, following their Arctic Star Medal Ceremony. This gave us the impetus to create a ‘Summer Exhibition’ to showcase all this fascinating local history to locals and visitors alike. We were thrilled that Reay has made the journey over here to support us. We have a growing support base worldwide, with many Veterans such as Reay keen to keep in touch with our developments.’

Further information about the Russian Arctic Convoy Museum Project and the Summer Exhibition is at the Russian Arctic Convoy Museum’s website here; or by phone – 01445 731093.

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