Sadly, most of the planned activities for this year’s VE Day 75th Anniversary have had to be postponed or cancelled due to COVID-19, but we’re not going to let that stop us celebrating this special bank holiday weekend at home.
We’ve pulled together a few ideas for local families to remember, learn and reflect on the incredible sacrifice, courage, and determination of people from all walks of life who saw us through this dark and terrifying period.
Discover the history
Watch this short BBC Teach Class Clip film to find out all about VE Day and VJ Day, and the events that led to the end of the war.
Download a special VE Day poem, Unmentioned in Despatches, by Peter Wyton.
Or read up on more of the history with a selection of books from WHSmith.
Host a ‘Street Party’ at home
Of course, we can’t go out into the street this year, but we can still create a smaller scale party at home. The English Heritage have created a useful Party Pack, complete with recipes for tasty 1940s dishes, a VE Day poster to display, invitations to send your family, lyrics to popular 1940s songs and tips for dancing the Lindy hop swing.
Wilko have a range of party plates in red, white and blue.
Card Factory are still taking orders online for Union Jack balloons.
The Works have Union Jack flags.
as well as red, white and blue bunting on their website.
And you can buy official VE Day merchandise from the following websites: https://www.poppyshop.org.uk/catalogsearch/result?q=VE%20Day and https://www.veday75.org/merchandise/
Interview a neighbour or grandparent on the phone
Local radios will be sharing memories and interviews in the run up to VE day, but you can set up your very own phone interview. Make someone’s day with a friendly chat about their own memories – we’ve put together a list of questions to help.
How about writing up your interview as a school project, or sharing the answers on our Facebook post.
Question 1: Were you born before the 8th May 1945?
Question 2: Do you remember where you were on this special day 75years ago?
Question 3: How did you feel when you heard the war had ended?
Question 4: How did you and your family and friends celebrate in 1945?
Question 5: What do you remember about the war?
Question 6: How will you be celebrating VE Day today?
Raise a toast at 3pm on Friday 8th May 2020
In place of public gatherings, the Pageantmaster is encouraging us all to join in a ‘Nation’s Toast to the Heroes of WW2’ at 3pm on the 8th May. Easy to join in from the safety of our own homes, we are asked to stand up and raise a glass of refreshment of their choice and undertake the following ‘Toast’: “To those who gave so much, we thank you.”
You can download a copy of the toast here.
This will be a unique opportunity for the nation to pay tribute to the many millions at home and abroad that gave so much to ensure we all enjoy and share the freedom.
Happy VE Day, everyone!