This coming weekend, 8th -10th May, marks the 75th anniversary of VE Day. Celebrations, services and street parties were planned across the country to commemorate and give thanks to those who gave up so much to secure peace and freedom. In these strange times of the global covid-19 pandemic we are encouraged to reflect with even more resonance on the fragility of our global community and express gratitude for those protecting our everyday lives.
What is VE Day?
Victory in Europe Day took place on 8th May 1945 and marked the formal acceptance of Nazi Germany’s unconditional surrender by the Allies of World War II. Celebrations erupted across the country with more than a million people taking to the streets to celebrate with dancing in the streets and bonfires.
Both English Heritage and the Imperial War Museum have created some great resources including images and stories to help younger generations to learn more about this period of our history.
We were planning to host a community picnic on St Matthew’s Piece this coming weekend but had to abandon plans before they got up and running due to the lockdown and on-going social distancing measures. However, we still want anyone in Petersfield who would like to be able to come together with the wider community to mark this historic occasion. Below are a list of links and ideas on how you can get involved with stay at home tea parties and information of broadcast going on locally and nationally.
We look forward to the time when we can gather as a community again to celebrate Petersfield and its surrounding areas.
Here is a few idea to get you started if you would like to get involved over the weekend:
- Have a picnic tea party in the garden or spread a rug in the living room if its raining
- Make some homemade decorations such as bunting or paperchains
- Get out your head scarves and curlers and dress up 1940s style
- Take time to learn more about the history of VE day
- Learn to swing dance from the comfort of your living room
- Listen to the top tracks of the day
- Download quizzes and challenges available online
- Share images with us of how you are marking the day on social media with the hashtag #lovepetersfield or send them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
1940s Style Afternoon Tea Parties
The Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has produced a resource pack with recipes, posters and party ideas for celebrating at home.
Other ideas include decking out your windows in red, white and blue – this could be anything from flags, to buntings and paperchains to your own colourful creations. There is a template over on the BBC website for making your own bunting.
The official VE Day celebrations website suggests a number of challenges particularly aimed at families including writing songs and poems and drawing pictures to bring VE Day to life and creating newspaper stories of how you would have reported the events at the times.
For your ‘stay at home’ tea party why not create a traditional afternoon tea with finger sandwiches, scones and jam and your favourite cakes. Add some sausage rolls and scotch eggs if you are feeling in more of a savoury mood.
A ‘National Toast for Heros’ has been proposed for 15:00 where you may like to come out onto your doorstep and raise cuppa or a glass of lemonade
Community Radio Station Cambridge 105
14:55 Virtual Service
Cambridge Mayor Cllr Gerri Bird will link up with Lord Mayyor Prof. Dr Wüzner from Cambridge’s twin city Heidelbery in Germany and the services will be lead by Padre Jonathan Knight from the Royal British Legion. It will include readings, music, speeches and a one minute silence.
Royal British Legion Cambridge has reported they are hoping to mark the event on 8th November 2020.
11:00 2 minute silence
The Royal British Legion is encouraging “all generations to participate and also reflect on the impact of Covid-19 on lives across the world” with Bob Gamble OBE, RBL’s assistant director of commemorative events saying, “We hope that individuals and families across the UK will embrace the opportunity to share in a national moment of reflection.”
The BBC’s coverage will take place from 14:45 – 15:45 and 20:00-21:10 and include conversations between veterans and frontline NHS staff, readings from Sir Winston Churchill’s famous speech and a recorded address from the Queen at 21:00. There will also be the opportunity to join in a national sing-a-long of Vera Lynn’s “We’ll Meet Again”.
They will also be broadcasting educational programs aimed at children from 4th May.
Whatever you are getting up to over the bank holiday weekend we hope you and your households stay safe. For more information on the local response to the Covid-19 pandemic check our new Covid-19 page.