VE Day 75 Commemoration – Friday 8th May

As you are probably aware, before the arrival of Covid-19, we were planning several events in Upham to mark the 75th anniversary of the end of WW2 in Europe, VE Day, on the weekend of the 8th – 10th May. Obviously, these plans have had to be put on ice, but we will definitely still have the Exhibition of Upham in WW2 and the Dinner Dance with a big band at some unknown date in the future.

These are some of the National Commemoration events which are happening on 8th May:

  • 11am — Two-minute national silence to remember the declaration of victory and the end of the Second World War in Europe.
  • 2.45pm – 3.45pm — The first of two special BBC One programmes to mark VE75, including extract from Sir Winston Churchill’s victory speech delivered at 3pm on VE Day.
  • Afternoon — Britons encouraged to hold 1940s-style afternoon tea parties at home rather than street parties, including homemade bunting and recipes from the era.
  • 9pm — Address by the Queen followed by national doorstep rendition of Dame Vera Lynn’s We’ll Meet Again.

There are lots of VE day-related programmes on the BBC TV and Radio as well as the above; see https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-52465997, and https://www.bbc.co.uk/mediacentre/latestnews/2020/75-anniversary-ve-day or watch/listen out for trailers!

For Upham, we would like to suggest that you decorate your house or garden, hedge or frontage in some appropriately festive way, with bunting, flags or whatever you can find to hand.  Dig out those old red, white and blue tee shirts from the charity shop pile which you created from your wardrobe clear-out in Week 2 of lockdown! You can even join your BBC Local Radio station initiative in making your own VE Day Great British Bunting.
Download templates and ideas here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/3yrtgmkfHBbsXfQfYkJp7CF/make-a-difference.
Do take a photo of your decorated house/garden, maybe put it on the Upham Facebook page, and we can have a display of the results included in the Exhibition. Also, there will be lots to see on people’s exercise outings that weekend!

If you look at the national VEDAY 75 website, at https://www.veday75.org/, you will find the details of a Toast you can say at home at 3pm on 8th May, with the words: “To those who gave so much, we thank you”. That sentence seems pretty relevant to our frontline and backstage keyworkers at the moment too, as well as the heroes of the frontline and home front of WW2.

The people celebrating in 1945 had been through some very tough times together, but they held on with hope. Let’s follow their example, have hope for the future, look out for each other, and keep safe.

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