Celebrate VE Day – lockdown ideas to mark 75th anniversary

WHILE Tameside residents adopt the best of British spirit to fight the coronavirus they are also being urged not to forget VE Day. 

Friday 8 May 2020 marks the 75th anniversary of VE Day (Victory in Europe Day) when, after six years of the Second World War, Winston Churchill announced Germany’s surrender at 3pm marking the end of the war in Europe.While residents may not be able to celebrate the anniversary with the same festivities and street parties as initially planned, Tameside Council has lots of ideas for activities and ways people can still mark the occasion at home and pay tribute to the servicemen and women who served in the war.

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.

Cllr Feeley with a wartime photograph of her great grandad Walter Brannick who served in the Manchester Regiment in the First World War when he was taken prisoner in Belgium“

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.”

Suggestions for activities are as follows:Dance for Victory

After Winston Churchill’s announcement, people across the UK celebrated, taking to the streets to dance and celebrate.

During the UK lockdown we are hoping to capture this spirit of celebration whilst staying at home and dancing for victory!  Simply follow our simple online tutorial of a wartime inspired dance routine you can learn and perform at home.

UK singalong to Vera Lynne 

Join thousands of people across the UK in a national moment of celebration and thanksgiving by singing wartime favourite “We’ll Meet Again” by Vera Lynn at 9pm on Friday 8th May.

For the full lyrics click here or you can watch BBC One’s VE Day broadcast which will feature a singalong.

Host a tea party at home

On VE Day in 1945, people joined their neighbours for street parties to celebrate the end of the war. With social distancing measures in place, you can have a tea party at home while still protecting the NHS and saving lives.

Here are some wartime inspired recipes and a VE day inspired playlist to set the mood.

Decorate your home with bunting 

Bring out the bunting or make your own to hang in your windows or garden to celebrate and give some joy to passers-by during their exercise allowance.

If you’ve not got bunting, here’s a quick craft activity to make some.

Share a wartime family photo 

Do you have a treasured family wartime photograph you would be happy to share? Post it on social media, telling us why it is special to you, using the hashtag #TamesideVE75

Share on social media 

Whatever you chose to do make sure you share it with us using the hashtag #TamesideVE75.

For further information see www.tameside.gov.uk/VE75

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