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How to mark VE Day in Waveney

PUBLISHED: 07:00 06 May 2020 | UPDATED: 08:34 06 May 2020

The VE-Day beacon at Sparrows Nest is lit in May 1995 to mark the 50th anniversary of VE-Day. Pictures: MICK HOWES

The VE-Day beacon at Sparrows Nest is lit in May 1995 to mark the 50th anniversary of VE-Day. Pictures: MICK HOWES

Copyright 2002

The country may still be in lockdown, but the 75th anniversary of VE Day is still set to be marked across Waveney.

The 1940s concert party at Sparrows Nest in May 1995 to mark the 50th anniversary of VE-Day. Members of the Clyffe Entertainers go through a routine in sailors' uniform. Pictures: MICK HOWESThe 1940s concert party at Sparrows Nest in May 1995 to mark the 50th anniversary of VE-Day. Members of the Clyffe Entertainers go through a routine in sailors' uniform. Pictures: MICK HOWES

Although the traditional commemorative ceremonies, street parties, parades and services that mark the end of the Second World War will not be going ahead due to the continuing coronavirus crisis, there are still plenty of ways communities can get involved to remember the sacrifices of those who fought for victory in Europe.

The people of Oulton enjoyed a popular street party at Oulton Community Centre in May 1995 to mark the 50th anniversary of VE-Day. Flags waving for a fun time, with a grim reminder of the dark days before the victory, as a life-size replica of a doodle-bug - one of the German flying bombers which caused havoc. Pictures: MICK HOWESThe people of Oulton enjoyed a popular street party at Oulton Community Centre in May 1995 to mark the 50th anniversary of VE-Day. Flags waving for a fun time, with a grim reminder of the dark days before the victory, as a life-size replica of a doodle-bug - one of the German flying bombers which caused havoc. Pictures: MICK HOWES

People across Waveney are being encouraged to commemorate the 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe (VE) Day this Friday, May 8.

The people of Somerleyton tuck into the wartime goodies - potatoes and sausage at the Somerleyton street party in May 1995 to mark the 50th anniversary of VE-Day. Pictures: MICK HOWESThe people of Somerleyton tuck into the wartime goodies - potatoes and sausage at the Somerleyton street party in May 1995 to mark the 50th anniversary of VE-Day. Pictures: MICK HOWES

Lowestoft Town Council had planned a large community event in Sparrows Nest, which would have featured the full Norwich Pipe Band, military band, swing band and a Spitfire flypast as people joined together to commemorate 75 years since the guns fell silent at the end of the war in Europe.

School teachers enjoying a VE Day Dinner at St Marys RC School, Lowestoft in May 2005. Photographer: Rob ColmanSchool teachers enjoying a VE Day Dinner at St Marys RC School, Lowestoft in May 2005. Photographer: Rob Colman

A town council spokesman said: “Clearly, all this had to be cancelled.

St Marys RC Primary School children having a VE day dinner in May 2005. Photographer: Rob Colman.St Marys RC Primary School children having a VE day dinner in May 2005. Photographer: Rob Colman.

“We were extremely disappointed to have to make this decision as it would have been a free event for all the people of Lowestoft with the chance to commemorate and celebrate.

Sir Winston Churchill giving his familiar 'V' sign. 75 years ago the former Prime Minister declared the war with Germany was over. Picture: PA/PA WireSir Winston Churchill giving his familiar 'V' sign. 75 years ago the former Prime Minister declared the war with Germany was over. Picture: PA/PA Wire

“Sadly it is not possible for an organised event but we are keen that the people of the town celebrate in their own and safe ways and in line with all the current government guidelines.”

Examples include tea parties, flying flags, decorating your homes with red, white and blue bunting or listening and watching clips from 75 years ago.

On the Lowestoft Town Council Facebook page and on YouTube at 10.55am you can watch the Mayor of Lowestoft, Alice Taylor, lead the commemorations before two minutes’ silence is observed with the Last Post being played by bugler Gemma Eglington.

The town council spokesman said: “At 3pm everyone should raise a glass or cup of tea with the toast ‘For those that gave so much, we thank you.”

The town council is keen to receive photographs of what townspeople do – safely and within government guidelines – and these can be submitted to admin@lowestofttowncouncil.gov.uk

Members and supporters of the RAF Association, Beccles and Southwold area will also be toasting those who gave their lives in the Second World War at 3pm on Friday.

In Pebble Close, Lowestoft a VE street party is being held on Friday, May 8 from 11am to 2pm. Neighbours will be uniting for a picnic lunch street party complete with bingo, wartime music and plenty of decorations.

A spokesman for the organisers said: “We are a small cul-de-sac with a mixture of residents who are elderly, young families, key workers and some who are socially distancing for 12 weeks.”

Residents at Harleston House, a specialist dementia care home in Lowestoft, will be opening their windows at 8pm on Friday to join Dame Vera Lynn in singing ‘We’ll Meet Again.’

The home also plans to hold an indoor street party so all residents can help celebrate the 75th VE Day anniversary.

An extensive range of events had also been planned in Bungay – including a planned fly-past of a Second World War Hurricane – but these have been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

At 3pm on Friday people in Bungay are instead being urged to join in with the nation’s toast. There will then be a live Facebook event with the Town Reeve and Town Mayor also making a toast, accompanied by the official VE 75 years music.

The Earsham Street cafe has also published a recipe for Wartime Shortbread.

If you are marking this special occasion, or you’re planning to hold a street party or celebration in Waveney, send us your photos and details to mark.boggis@archant.co.uk


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