VE Day celebrations: Ideas for how to celebrate during lockdown

PUBLISHED: 17:00 06 May 2020

Janet Turp, Caroline Glimber, Marie Kirkland, Kathy Clark and Ron Chorley celebrating VE Day in Long Ashton in 2015.

Janet Turp, Caroline Glimber, Marie Kirkland, Kathy Clark and Ron Chorley celebrating VE Day in Long Ashton in 2015.

Archant

Revellers across North Somerset are being encouraged to celebrate the 75th anniversary of VE (Victory in Europe) Day at home.

John Glew, John and Barbara Britton, Revd Ann Sargeant and Angela Neale celebrating VE Day in Long Ashton in 2015John Glew, John and Barbara Britton, Revd Ann Sargeant and Angela Neale celebrating VE Day in Long Ashton in 2015

Friday marks the day the guns fell silent in Europe ending six years of conflict across the continent.

Sadly, national and district plans to mark this milestone anniversary due to take place this weekend have been postponed until the VJ Day (Victory over Japan) celebrations in August, or cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

However, there are still plenty of ways to celebrate this landmark anniversary.

The BBC has launched a VE Day scheme as part of its Make a Difference initiative, and is encouraging people to make their own Great British Bunting out of paper or cardboard, to display in their windows over the weekend.

Angela Hale and Jo Tyas. celebrating VE Day in 2015.Angela Hale and Jo Tyas. celebrating VE Day in 2015.

A guide on how to make the bunting along with a template can be found online at bbc.in/3cTfBev

The Royal British Legion (RBL) will also be running a live stream at 11.15am, hosted by Sonali Shah, featuring contributions from social historian Julie Summers, and cook Melissa Helmsley.

The stream will also include members of the World War Two generation sharing their memories and stories of the war.

The legion is also encouraging people to take part in a national sing-a-long of Vera Lynn’s We’ll Meet Again at 9pm, which will also be broadcast on BBC 1.

Brothers Samuel 7 and Isaac 4 Benton at a the street party in Coronation Road, Bleadon, to celebrate VE day and VJ day (BP) in 2015.Brothers Samuel 7 and Isaac 4 Benton at a the street party in Coronation Road, Bleadon, to celebrate VE day and VJ day (BP) in 2015.

An RBL spokesman said: “As we face some of the most challenging times since the end of World War Two, now more than ever it is important to come together and unite.

“We need you and as many people as possible to take part in this national moment of thanksgiving and celebration, in honour of our World War Two generation.

“You can watch and join in on BBC One who will be featuring the sing-a-long as part of their VE Day broadcast.”

English Heritage also has released a pack to help people mark the anniversary from home.

Waitrose has donated supplies for VE Day celebrations.Waitrose has donated supplies for VE Day celebrations.

Historian and presenter Dan Snow has set schoolchildren the challenge to research what VE Day is all about.

For details, log on to ve-vjday75.gov.uk/dan-snows-ve-day-challenge

People are also being encouraged to join a national toast at 3pm to mark the occasion,

North Somerset Council leader Don Davies said: “While official events to mark VE Day 75 have been cancelled or postponed because of the extraordinary circumstances we find ourselves in, it is still important to remind ourselves of the personal sacrifices and hardship people across the globe faced during World War Two.

“It’s also an opportunity to remember what our service personnel are doing today, whether that be serving abroad, helping to set up the Nightingale hospitals, or running the mobile coronavirus testing units – they continue to serve our country.

“At 11am, people across all generations and communities will be taking take part in a national moment of Remembrance and pause for a two-minute silence to honour the service and sacrifice of the World War Two generation and reflect on the devastating impact Covid-19 has had on so many lives across the world.

“And the ‘Nation’s Toast to the Heroes of WW2’ is at 3pm, so from the safety of your own home, why not stand up and raise a glass of refreshment of your choice ‘to those who gave so much, we thank you,’ using this unique opportunity to pay tribute to the many millions at home and abroad who gave so much to ensure we all enjoy the freedom we have today – something we take for granted.

“I hope we can incorporate some of the cancelled events into the celebrations in August to mark VJ Day.”

The Nailsea Covid-19 help group are also encouraging residents in the village to come together as a community to celebrate the VE Day, while observing social distancing measures by decorating their own homes and enjoying a picnic in their own garden at the same time as their neighbours.

James Steel, Nailsea Covid-19 Help Group lead, said: “While this is a time of celebration, we do ask that all residents take every precaution possible and celebrate with neighbours from the safety of their own individual gardens and homes.”

The group will be sharing ideas on how to take part on its Facebook page at facebook.com/groups/NailseaCOVID19

The group would also like to hear from people with memories and stories from relatives, friends and veterans from the original VE Day in 1945, and to celebrate them on their Facebook Page. You can get in touch by emailing nailseahelpers@yahoo.com.


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