A BARRAGE balloon historian from the Wye Valley appeared on The Antiques Roadshow D-Day Special programme on BBC 1 last Saturday.

Pete Garwood, who lives near Monmouth, is Hon.Secretary of the Balloon Barrage Reunion Club, (www.bbrclub.org) and his expertise led him to be featured on the show filmed at both the D-Day Story Museum and in Normandy.

The episode featured a variety of fascinating objects along with the stories behind them relating back to the events of June 1944.  

As Pete explained: “In February we filmed at Abersychan where the all black 320th Balloon Barrage Battalion was billeted for a few months before D-Day.

“I was asked to take one of the balloons from my collection which was the same type that was used on the beaches of Normandy. 

“The programme had me showing the balloon to two descendants of one of the soldiers who had been billeted at the church in Abersychan.

“The 80-year-old balloon was too fragile to inflate so we laid it out to show them.

“Back in October we were on location at Great Yarmouth on a beach that was supposed to be Omaha Beach in Normandy, advising the film crew on the D-Day beach scenes for the new TV series "Erased" which is narrated by Idris Elba. The film also used one of the balloons from my collection in that film.

Pete Garwood with the crew on "Erased"-" we used this balloon on the beach in the film."
(Pete Garwood)