8th May Bank Holiday Weekend

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.

10 images from VE Day – Imperial War Museum

What you need to know about VE day – Imperial War Museum

English Heritage – Peace in Europe

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 info@pactcambridge.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.

National Coverage

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.

Stay Safe

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.

Community Connections

Fire and Rescue Services at Coffee Morning in February

We were really pleased to have Emma Fordham, the Positive Action Officer for Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service, with us for our February Coffee Morning. It was a great way to connect with a vital service in the local communtiy and hear more about fire safety and different roles within the department.

Emma shares; ” A big part of my role is to engage and work with communities to establish and strengthen relationships and break down barriers for different community groups. I help communities to access information, support and employment opportunities from the fire service. This can include details on recruitment, such as explaining the different roles including operational and support and the criteria and skills needed for these roles. One of my key aims is to help with diversifying the workforce to represent the communities we support. I also attend lots of events and meetings to share resources such as around careers, fire safety and safe & well leaflets and leaflets in other languages.”

We always enjoy having the Fire and Rescue service join us at Party on the Piece each year and look forward to welcoming them again in 2020 – and hopefuly having a visit from an interactive fire engine too!

Its always a great reminder to chat to services such as Fire and Rescue and to realise the small things we can do that make a difference to everyone safety. They have information leaflets available in a variety of languages and formats. It was really interesting to hear about the varity of roles within the department – its not just fire fighters! It was also really interesting to hear about what working life looks like for firefighters.

If you have any ideas of how we can connect with local services and help our coffee morning to grow please do get in contact. We are running this pilot coffee morning on the first Friday of each month from 10:00-11:30 and are kindly supported by The Alex, Gwydir Street, who let us use their beautiful Garden Room. There is an optional donation of £1 to cover costs and we always have hot and cold drinks and home baked goods.

Party on the Piece 2019 – Thank you!

WOW! Party on the Piece was a HUGE success this year. Thank you to everyone who came along and made the day so special. Months of preparation and hard work definitely paid off and we have had overwhelmingly possitve feedback from all who took part on the day. What a priveledge to live in an area as wonderful as Petersfield.

A lot of you commented on how many free activities we were able to offer. This is all thanks to our generous sponsorship. In part through a grant from the council and in part through two supportive local businesses – The Alex and RAH.