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Airfield preserved for its wartime past

It starred in the opening sequence of the famous film The Dambusters, and was responsible for training thousands of pilots during the Second World War.

Now a local action group fighting to preserve the airfield at Silloth in West Cumbria has received a grant, ensuring the role the town played during the war won't be forgotten.

Paul Crone has this report:

Many lost their lives training for the war

Silloth Airfield opened in 1939 and trained thousands of servicemen during the Second World War.

So many accidents occurred over Solway Bay, it became known as 'Hudson Bay', after the Hudson planes that were notoriously difficult to fly.

Not far from the runway is a cemetery for those who lost their lives training for war.

Lawrence Marshall has vivid memories of living next to the airfield during the war:

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Silloth Airfield trained thousands during WW2

The Hudson planes were notoriously hard to fly Credit: Gordon Akitt

A project to highlight one of the best kept secrets of the Second World War has been launched in West Cumbria.

Silloth Airfield opened in 1939 and trained thousands of American, Canadian and British pilots to fly fighters and bombers during the war.

Dozens lost their lives during their training Credit: Gordon Akitt

The Silloth Tourism Action Group has received a Heritage Lottery Grant to preserve the site for future generations, and to highlight the part the seaside town played during the war.

Training the pilots, navigators and wireless operators to fly the notoriously difficult Hudson planes came at cost.

In the cemetery, just a few hundreds yards from the end of the runway, are the graves of dozens of aircrew who lost their lives training for war.

The Silloth Tourism Action Group would like people to get involved Credit: Gordon Akitt

It’s hoped many other residents will come forward to assist in the project with memories and photos of the town’s wartime years.

Special ceremonies to mark D Day at 70

This summer marks the 70th anniversary of a key event in the second world war, and the Royal British Legion is offering help and support to any veterans from Cumbria and the South of Scotland who may want to commemorate it.

More than 150,000 troops took part in the D Day landings, when allied forces crossed the channel to land on the Normandy beaches.

Special ceremonies will be taking place in France to mark the anniversary. And, although the number of veterans is dwindling, the Royal British Legion are encouraging as many as possible to try to go.

For more information about the commemorations you can visit the Royal British Legion website.

If you are a veteran and you, or your family are planning to attend the ceremonies then we'd like to hear from you.

You can get in touch with us by emailing pamandian@itv.com.

Second World War love letters mystery

Letters written by a couple during the Second World War have been discovered at a house in Carlisle. They are due to up for auction.

The couple are called Lawrence Frederick Heald and his sweetheart, Carlisle girl Annie Wilson, who signs her name "nance". Not much else is known about them but there were some newspaper cuttings of Annie that were found with the letters.

The pair do get married but never get the chance to live together. The correspondence between them ends abruptly in April 1944.

Now there's an attempt to solve the mystery of what happened to the couple.

Matthew Taylor reports.

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Love letters discovered in Carlisle attic

The letters date back to the 1940s Credit: ITV News Border

Letters written by a couple during the Second World War have been discovered at a house in Carlisle.

They were discovered in a house in Carlisle Credit: ITV News Border

There are calls to trace the family of the couple, before the letters go under the hammer.

They are due to go on sale at auction Credit: ITV News Border

Bomb squad called to World War II device in Cockermouth

The bomb squad has been called to the centre of Cockermouth after a World War II device was found in a property on station Street.

A member of the public called the police when the 'ordnance relic' was discovered.

A 50 metre cordon has been put in place and properties evacuated as the bomb squad make their way to the town.

"Police would like to reassure people that there is no risk to the public at this time.

"The road is currently closed as a precaution. If we thought there was a danger of the relic exploding the cordon would be greater."

– Police spokesman

Station Road has been closed and motorists are asked to avoid the area. You can keep up-to-date with the situation on the roads at www.cumbria.police.uk/traffic.