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Mudchute in WWII

ackackgun

Mudchute was a part of the Home Front during the Second World War, helping to defend London and its docks against German bombing by housing a set of anti-aircraft guns. These gun sites still play an important role on the farm, where 3 of the 4 concrete gun sites are currently acting as enclosures for our pigs and other livestock. With the assistance of a generous grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, we have also been able to restore one of these gun sites to create an exhibition on the role of Mudchute during the Blitz, including a restored anti-aircraft gun (or Ack Ack Gun) as well as a series of displays including photographs, uniforms and other memorabilia from this important part of our local history.

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The arrival of the Ack Ack Gun on site.

Work began in 2011 and the exhibition was opened officially in June 2012 with a celebratory 1940's banquet and street party. The enormous anti-aircraft gun contrasts with its surroundings, acting as a sobering reminder of what Docklands residents went through during the war and how Mudchute was so vital in defending them.

The exhibition brings history to life and the gun's location in an actual gun site is particularly poignant. The gun site exhibition and Ack Ack gun have been extremely successful in communicating local history, generating interest and encouraging locals to share their memories. Research for this project has inspired a 16 min film on the Blitz which is available online here and across the Isle of Dogs. The exhibition has also been the centre piece of a wartime banquet, wartime Christmas party and opening ceremony that included a 1940's style street party.

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Learning about wartime sirens, gas masks and local life during the Blitz.
 

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