OVER 70 years after their relatives visited Highland Perthshire, a group of Russians are visiting Blair Castle this weekend to see if they can shed light on a group of Soviet military airmen’s visit to the historic castle in 1943.
Says a spokesperson: “At the height of the Second World War, the soldiers had been receiving specialist training in secret at Errol Airfield for nearly an entire year between 1943 and 1944.
“While there is some detail about the soldiers’ covert trip to Errol in 1943, there are no records available about their visit to Blair Castle.
“The Soviet soldiers’ trip to Highland Perthshire is shrouded in mystery and the castle team are hoping that the military airmen’s descendants will be able to shed some light on what happened on their unusual trip to a Scottish castle.”
Jane Anderson, archivist at Blair Castle, said: “We think that the pilots were perhaps granted a reward after completing their secret military training at Errol Airfield and that reward was to come up to Blair Castle for a rest and to see a bit more of Scotland.
“As the visit happened during the war, we have no record whatsoever of what they got up to while they were here, so we are very much looking forward to meeting their families to see if they can solve the mystery of what they did while at the castle.”
Jane continued: “The fact that their direct descendants are visiting Blair Castle, as well as some of the other places that the soldiers stayed, suggests that they must have spoken of their visit to Highland Perthshire, so it will be interesting to hear what stories the visitors can recall.”
As well as welcoming international visitors this weekend, Blair Castle are currently busy preparing for the historic Atholl Highlanders Parade and Gathering which is taking place on May 23rd and 24th.
The historic event, an annual gathering hosted by The Duke of Atholl, is set to attract thousands of people to the area to witness the famous Parade and competitive Gathering over the course of the weekend.
For more information about Blair Castle and the Atholl Highlanders Parade and Gathering visit www.blair-castle.co.uk
For further information, please contact Anna Gunn, Volpa, Tel: 07803589732 or 01738 700135
About Atholl Estates
- Atholl Estates is located in Blair Atholl, Highland Perthshire. The estate is centered around the famous landmark of Blair Castle.
- One of Scotland’s best known estates, Atholl Estates dates back to the 13th century.
- Atholl Estates manage a range of operations in the tourism, events, forestry, farming, property and country sport sectors.
- Atholl Estates also has a range of Highland lodges and a caravan park on site.
- For more information please visit wwww.atholl-estates.com or call 01796 481411.
About Blair Castle
- Atholl Estates is centered around Blair Castle and Gardens in Blair Atholl which are open to the public for day visitors, corporate events, functions and weddings.
- Blair Castle dates back to 1269 and has 30 rooms on display to the public.
- Annual passes that offer access to Blair Castle and the ground throughout the year are available for £12 per person.
- Blair Castle was recently included in a list of Europe’s most magical castles by Duvine – a global bike tour company.
- Blair Castle is open to the public from 1st April to 31st October and features a restaurant, gift shop and tours of the house and grounds.
- For more information please visit www.blair-castle.co.uk or call 01796 481411.
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