Celebrate VE Day safely at home on Friday 8 May

Published on 5th May 2020

VE day 2020 poster

Cheltenham is getting ready to commemorate the 75th anniversary of VE Day on Friday 8 May 2020. Although street parties and public events have had to be cancelled due to Covid-19, there are still plenty of ways to celebrate at home.

The Cheltenham Remembers website has been relaunched especially for VE Day with lots of ideas of how to get involved (cheltenhamremembers.org.uk/ve-day-75). Residents and families can download the free VE Day 75 resource pack which includes children’s activities, printable bunting and flags.

People across the borough are encouraged to take part in the national programme of events lead by the Royal British Legion which can all be enjoyed at home, including:

  • Two Minute Silence at 11am which provides an opportunity for national reflection,
  • The Nation’s Toast at 3pm where people across the UK are encouraged to raise a glass or a cuppa to the WW2 generation and say “For those who gave so much, we thank you” and
  • From 9pm BBC One will invite the nation to throw open their windows and singalong to wartime classic ‘We’ll Meet Again’.

There’s plenty to do in the lead up to the day. Get involved with ‘Cheltenham Children Celebrate VE Day 75’. Get creative and download the Cheltenham Remembers VE day activity pack or visit the Facebook page for projects to try at home. Several local schools will be taking part and their creations will be shared on the council’s website and social media. There is also a great home learning pack from the RBL for KS2 and KS3 from www.rbl.org.uk/veday75.

Cllr Flo Clucas, cabinet member for healthy lifestyles, says: “However you choose to celebrate the VE Day this year, please stay at home and observe social distancing. We’d like to ask residents to focus on celebrating peaceful times, children’s involvement and sharing the moment.

“We’d really like to encourage local children to get creative with some of the fun project ideas and learn about the different things that happened, roles in the community and even wartime recipes.”

Charles Welsh, head teacher at Gardener’s Lane School, is co-ordinating schools involvement around the borough, and continues: “It has been great to see so many of our local primary schools signing up to celebrate the 75th anniversary of VE Day. Schools across the town have all prepared a VE Day theme and activities that children and the whole family can do including; poetry, story writing, paintings and model making which can be posted to the council ready to be shared with all Cheltenham residents.”

Decorate your windows and gardens

Add some colour to your street and show your neighbours you’ll be celebrating VE day at home. Why not make bunting and donate it to The Cheltenham Trust’s #letsmeetagain community bunting project after VE day?

Louis Eperjesi, chair of the board of trustees, said: “We are encouraging everyone in the local community to be creative and to help us adorn Cheltenham’s iconic venues with home-made bunting for when we can re-open and for when we will meet again.

“That message of ‘we’ll meet again’ kept Britain going during wartime and 75 years on from VE Day it is resonating again as we say #letsmeetagain. We look forward to receiving bunting made by the community and to showcasing it on our buildings when we are permitted to re-open.”

Discover more about Cheltenham At War as we share photos of wartime Cheltenham in partnership with Gloucestershire Libraries and watch out for some Ration Book Recipes from the Holst Birthplace Museum and a very special Livestream 1940s Singalong with the Lindsay Martin Group on Wednesday 6 May at 2pm.

Share The Moment with us by tweeting photos and video of your VE Day celebrations using @WW1Cheltenham #CheltVE75. We also invite you to share your WW2 stories and photos with us as we remember the generation who gave so much.

Cheltenham Mayor Cllr Roger Whyborn will also be sharing a special 75th anniversary VE day pre-recorded speech through social media. Follow the Mayor of Cheltenham on Twitter and Facebook.

However you choose to celebrate VE Day, please stay at home and observe social distancing.

For media enquiries, please contact: communications, telephone 01242 264154, email communications@cheltenham.gov.uk

For further information visit www.cheltenhamremembers.org.uk  or visit the Cheltenham Remembers Facebook page

Royal British Legion South West, contact: Karl Hobley KHobley@britishlegion.org.uk or visit www.rbl.org/veday75

Primary schools who are participating in Cheltenham Remembers activity pack include:

Naunton Park, Shurdington, St Gregory the Great, St Marks, St Thomas More, Warden Hill, Berkhamsptead, Charlton Kings Infants, Springbank, Oakwood and Gardners Lane

VE day 2020 poster