AMERICAN troops got as warm a welcome in Walditch the second time around as they did on the first - more than 60 years ago.

The hospitality shown to American troops before the D-Day landings in Normandy was outstanding then and it was outstanding again at the weekend.

The Hyde residential home was hosting a living history event with a troop of World War II enthusiasts camping in the grounds. They were re-enacting the weekend before the American GIs left their camp base in Walditch for the Normandy landings.

The re-enactment group, called First Division, were dressed in authentic uniform and held drill marches, exercises and weapons displays throughout the weekend.

Hyde manager Melody Walters said: "The weekend went very well. Lots of people came and were really interested in talking to the GIs and finding out the local history.

"The re-enactment group contacted us because of the troops that were stationed here and they wanted to have a look around the house and gardens.

"We were doing a living history project at the time and it seemed a good idea to link them together so people could get a taste of what it was like here during the war.

"Apparently one of the main points was that the hospitality from the locals was outstanding.

"The majority of the troops were stationed in Nissan huts by the real tennis court and we had displays of local photographs from the time in and around Bridport and Burton Bradstock which really gave the feeling of what it was like.

"There were people here at the weekend who must have been children or teenagers at the time who remembered the troops. They remembered them bringing Hershey bars and stockings!

"We also had the church service on the Sunday and they gave what would have been the church service at the time."

The 3000 troops - E and G Companies, 16th infantry division and 1st US infantry division were based in Walditch from November 1943 to June 1944 before heading for Omaha Beach.