Local author gives Dambuster talk at Chesil Beach Centre
Tuesday 3rd May 2016
On Saturday 14th May, Dorset Wildlife Trust’s (DWT’s) Chesil Beach Centre will be welcoming local author Jenny Elmes to give a fascinating talk about her new book ‘M-Mother’, which tells the story of one of the great unsung heroes of the Dambuster Raid, her uncle, Flight Lieutenant, John ‘Hoppy’ Hopgood.
Jenny will talk about how her uncle was 2nd in command in the Dambuster Raid, and one of the first to use the famous bouncing bomb, which was tested and adapted by Barnes Wallis on the Fleet at Chesil Beach, just a stone’s throw away from the Chesil Beach Centre.
Chesil Beach Fleet - where the story started
Jenny said, “The Chesil Beach Centre is the ideal place to tell the story of my uncle, John ‘Hoppy’ Hopgood, who was the pilot of Lancaster M-Mother, and the second pilot to drop the bouncing bomb at the Mohne Dam, which was tested and developed on the Fleet at Chesil Bank. My uncle showed extreme courage, losing his life aged just 21 years during the Dambuster Raid in May 1943. His selfless actions allowed two of his crew to escape with their lives, and it seems appropriate to tell this story where it all started at the Fleet on Chesil Beach.”
Of interest to locals and history enthusiasts alike
DWT’s Centre’s Coordinator, Marc Smith, said, “We are delighted to welcome Jenny to the Chesil Beach Centre to talk about her new book and we’re looking forward to welcoming visitors who can truly immerse themselves in Jenny’s story, near the site where the Bouncing Bomb was first tested on the Lagoon. The Fleet and Chesil Beach is so rich with not only wildlife, but history too, so Jenny’s story will be of interest to local people and history enthusiasts alike.”
How to book
Join this event on Saturday 14th May from 2–3.30pm. Tickets are £6 and include tea and cake. Booking is essential on 01305 206191. The Fine Foundation Chesil Beach Centre is halfway along the causeway between Weymouth and Portland on the A354. There is a pay and display carpark.
Special book price if purchased on the day...
Copies of Jenny's book, signed by herself and by Hoppy's younger sister Betty aged 92 years, will be available at the special price of £18 on the day.
Notes to Editor
For more information please contact Marc Smith or Emily Brown at Dorset Wildlife Trust on 01305 206191.
Working for a secure future for Dorset’s wildlife enriching the quality of life.
Dorset Wildlife Trust is part of the Natural Weymouth and Portland Partnership; connecting people with nature
Dorset Wildlife Trust works to champion wildlife and natural places, to engage and inspire people and to promote sustainable living. Founded in 1961, DWT is now the largest voluntary nature conservation organisation in Dorset, with over 25,000 members and over 40 nature reserves. Most are open daily and there are visitor centres providing a wealth of wildlife information at Brooklands Farm, Lorton Meadows, Kingcombe Meadows and Brownsea Island Nature Reserves, The Purbeck Marine Wildlife Reserve and the Urban Wildlife Centre at Upton Heath Nature Reserve. DWT plays a key role in dealing with local environmental issues and leads the way in establishing the practices of sustainable development and engaging new audiences in conservation, particularly in the urban areas.
The Fine Foundation Chesil Beach Centre is owned by Weymouth & Portland Borough Council and leased to Dorset Wildlife Trust who run the Centre on behalf of a partnership including the Chesil Bank and the Fleet Nature Reserve and the Jurassic Coast Team, with the continued help of local volunteers. The building of the new centre and boardwalk was made possible by funding from a wide range of organisations, including the Heritage Lottery Fund, The Crown Estate and Court Leet of the Island and Royal Manor of Portland, the Fine Family Foundation, Weymouth and Portland Borough Council, Dorset County Council, the Garfield Weston Foundation, Dorset Wildlife Trust, Chalk and Cheese and the Jurassic Coast Trust.
The Fine Foundation Chesil Beach Centre is a partnership between Weymouth and Portland Borough Council and Dorset Wildlife Trust. The Centre is supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Fine Family Foundation, Chesil Bank and the Fleet Nature Reserve, Jurassic Coast Team and Trust, Crown Estate, Court Leet of the Island and Royal Manor of Portland, Dorset County Council, Garfield Weston Foundation, Chalk and Cheese and an army of volunteers from the local community.
The Centre is open from 10am to 4pm every day. For more information, ring 01305 206191 or visit dorsetwildlifetrust.org.uk/chesilcentre.
Dorset Wildlife Trust is part of the Natural Weymouth and Portland Partnership; connecting people with nature.
The Heritage Lottery Fund
Using money raised through the National Lottery, the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) sustains and transforms a wide range of heritage for present and future generations to take part in, learn from and enjoy. From museums, parks and historic places to archaeology, natural environment and cultural traditions, we invest in every part of our diverse heritage. HLF has supported more than 26,000 projects, allocating over £4 billion across the UK. This includes over £411 million to more than 2,600 projects across the South West. Website: www.hlf.org.uk.
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