Celebrations for the 75th anniversary of VE Day should take place ’on the home front’.
That’s the message from Salford City Council which has collected more than 50 ideas for all the family to celebrate during the weekend of May 8 to May 10 while staying safely at home.
The activities, which can be found at www.salford.gov.uk/VEDay75 and are being promoted on social media range from making your own Spitfire, designing your own Squander Bug and colouring in bunting, to trying out wartime recipes for a tea party and learning why lipstick was a weapon of war.
The collection also includes links to history, wartime places to visit online such as Churchill’s War Rooms and Liverpool’s War Museum which was the headquarters for the Battle of the Atlantic and tells the story of two local war heroes who now live at Broughton House, Salford which is trying to raise £1 million to build the north west’s first veteran’s care village.
The council has also paid tribute to those who served and sacrificed both in the Second World War and in today’s fight against Coronavirus with giant banners at the Civic Centre in Swinton.
Veterans champions Councillor Margaret Morris MBE and Councillor Barry Warner said it was vital people continued the ‘war effort’ and continued to observe the social distancing instructions.
Councillor Morris said: “It is a huge shame that we cannot have street parties but the risk of catching and spreading Coronavirus is too great. That’s why we have put so much work into ideas for all the family to mark the weekend in their homes.”
Councillor Warner added: “We support the Royal British Legion’s call for people to participate from home and pay tribute to the entire Second World War generation from British, Commonwealth and Allied forces, to evacuees and those who served on the home front.”
The Legion’s activities include a two minute silence at 11am on Friday May 8, to honour the service and sacrifice of the Second World War generation, and reflect on the devastating impact Covid-19 has had on so many lives across the world.
That will be followed by a livestream event on the Legion’s website, sharing Second World War stories and memories, an evening of memories and music from 8pm on BBC One and a national rendition of Vera Lynn’s ‘We’ll Meet Again’ at 9pm.
Oldham’s activities planned span the week and include a Facebook LIVE themed Rhyme Time, and a singalong, organised by Oldham Libraries.
There are also lots of national activities scheduled too, including a two minute silence, a livestream from The Royal British Legion and the BBC are broadcasting VE Day 75: The People’s Celebration on BBC One.
For a list of local and national activities, visit https://www.oldham.gov.uk/ve75.
Oldham Council Leader, Councillor Sean Fielding, said:
“VE Day was a victory over the far-right in Europe that was only achieved with huge sacrifice. Even in these unusual circumstances it is therefore important to mark the 75th anniversary to both remember this sacrifice and reflect on what it was that our ancestors were fighting against. The values of freedom, democracy, tolerance and respect that triumphed 75 years ago are not a given, and so celebrating VE Day is an opportunity to remind ourselves of the importance of these values, reaffirm our commitment to upholding them and have the confidence to call out those who do not.
“I’m sure Oldham residents will join me in commemorating the anniversary with the same commitment as we do for Remembrance Sunday.
“However, whilst we are still in lockdown our celebrations will have to take place at home.
“Although it would have been great to have participated in some of the events that had been planned, we have to remain safe and not put ourselves, our family or our friends at risk by gathering together at this challenging time.”
Rochdale council is encouraging residents to raise a toast on Friday, 8 May 2020 in a special act of remembrance to mark the 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe – VE Day.
A special tribute will take place at 3pm on Friday, 8 May 2020, as the community comes together to mark the moment Winston Churchill announced the end of the war in Europe.
Thousands of Rochdalians served on the frontline during World War 2 and are commemorated and remembered at war memorials in townships across the borough.
The VE Day toast is one of many national events taking place throughout the day, including a special 2 minutes’ silence at 11am, a nationwide singalong of Dame Vera Lynn’s ‘we’ll meet again’ and a live stream of Armed Forces personnel recalling their memories of World War 2.
A series of outdoor events had been planned locally, but residents can still commemorate the day and pay tribute to the fallen from the safety of their own home.
To help mark the occasion, the council is also asking people to hang out bunting and email in photographs, showing them toasting the moment the guns fell silent. These will be promoted across the council’s social media channels.
From making bunting to recreating classic wartime dishes, Bury council has a range of online ideas and ways you can join in to celebrate the 75th anniversary of this momentous day.
So if you want to make some wartime carrot cake, learn to dance the Lindy Hop, make your own V for Victory signs or learn the history of our own Lancashire Fusiliers, go to www.bury.gov.uk/veday-75
Councillor David Jones, leader of Bury Council, said: “The Prime Minister described the coronavirus battle as the biggest threat to our country since the Second World War.
“It’s far too early for us to be declaring victory in this current struggle, but that won’t stop us celebrating one of the greatest occasions in British and world history – even if we have to do so indoors.
“Let’s create a street party atmosphere while still keeping our distance and stopping the virus spreading. And let’s honour the bravery of those who served and those who continue to serve our country.”
WHILE Tameside residents adopt the best of British spirit to fight the coronavirus they are also being urged not to forget VE Day.
From learning Tameside’s bespoke ‘Dance for Victory’ routine from an easy online tutorial and filming your moves to hosting an at home tea party or sharing a wartime family photograph – there is something for everyone to get involved.
People are encouraged to share photographs of their celebrations on social media using the hashtag #TamesideVE75
Tameside Council Executive Member Cllr Leanne Feely, who is responsible for culture, said: “I’ve seen Tameside people show some amazing resilience and spirit over the past several weeks in response to the coronavirus pandemic and it must have made many of us think of our relatives before us and how they coped in the much more challenging times of the second world war.
“Although lockdown has meant we can’t celebrate the 75th anniversary of VE Day in the ways we had initially planned, it has never felt more appropriate to pay tribute to everyone who served their country and made sacrifices during wartime. We have lots of fun ideas for how people can get involved and I can’t wait to see everyone’s photos so please remember to share your celebrations on social media with the #TamesideVE75 hashtag.”
Trafford Council is encouraging people to commemorate the special day from their own homes, beginning at 11am with a national two minutes of remembrance to honour the service and sacrifice of the Second World War generation and reflect on the impact the Covid-19 epidemic.
On behalf of the residents of Trafford, the Leader of Trafford Council, Councillor Andrew Western, and a Council representative will lay a wreath in the sunken garden in the grounds of Trafford Town hall immediately following the two minute silence at 11am. He will be joined by Armed Forces Champion Cllr Judith Lloyd. The Mayor, Cllr Rob Chilton, will also be laying a wreath at Sale.
The Council has also pulled together a range of ideas and resources to help residents mark the 75th anniversary at home. These include a Trafford Archives online exhibition ‘All in it together’ about the Second World War in the Trafford area, soundscapes from IWMN telling personal stories of life in wartime and details of key events taking place throughout the day, including an address from HM The Queen and a UK-wide toast to wartime heroes.
Cllr Andrew Western, Leader of Trafford Council said:
We are disappointed to not be able to mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day as planned, but that doesn’t mean the day should pass without celebration and reflection, and we hope residents will find ways to commemorate the occasion safely within their own homes.
“Whether it’s decorating homes and front gardens red, white and blue, listening to and watching historic speeches and events, cooking up a ‘rations dinner’ or joining in with the UK-wide rendition of ‘We’ll Meet Again’ at 9pm, there are many ways to get involved and remember the historic sacrifice and triumph of VE Day 1945.”
Wigan Council is asking households across the borough to bring the street party atmosphere to each of their homes.
From re-creating ration recipes to making bunting, creating poppies out of plastic bottles to having picnics in front gardens – the council will provide a host of online resources to help residents be creative in their commemorations, while sticking to the social distancing rules.
Leader of Wigan Council, Councillor David Molyneux said: “Over the last few months, our teams were working really closely with the armed forces community to deliver a spectacular flagship event in Mesnes Park.
“Although circumstances out of our control have impacted these plans significantly, it’s still important to remember and acknowledge this vital milestone in our history.”