Scotland's Coastal Heritage at Risk

RAF Wig Bay Flying Boat Base

Condition survey, photography, interpretation

Stranraer flying boats over Loch Ryan, photo J Dalziel
Stranraer flying boats over Loch Ryan, photo J Dalziel

RAF Wig Bay on the sheltered shores of Loch Ryan was developed as a specialist Flying Boat Base in World War 2. During the 1950's the base serviced and broke up flying boats from all over the world. It closed in 1957.

Many people in Kirkcolm and Stranraer have strong connections to and memories of RAF Wig Bay. In this ShoreDIG, local residents recorded what survives of the base and its condition. The information has provided the Local Authority archaeologist with an up-to-date assessment of the survivial and condition of the flying boat base elements. Photographs, stories, memories and artefacts, that are still very much alive in the local area, were also collected and documented. You can read about the surveys on the SCHARP blog Part 1 and Part 2.

In July, young people from Apex Stranraer created 2 short films, Bill's Story and Donnie's Story,  that tell the stories of the base from the point of view of two men who were children at the time it was operational. You can also see what the young people themselves thought about  learning about the base and learning how to make a film in their funny film about their experiences, Young Film Makers behind the scenes of the Wig Bay movies.