Richmondshire communities urged to celebrate VE Day anniversary in their own front gardens

Winston Churchill waves to crowds in Whitehall in London as they celebrate VE Day, 8 May 1945.

Richmondshire District Council is supporting the Royal British Legion message to celebrate the 75th anniversary of VE Day from home on Friday.

With people unable to attend celebratory events to mark the anniversary and many off work for the Bank Holiday and lockdown, local authorities are encouraging communities to pay tribute to the sacrifices of the World War Two generation throughout the day at home.

Cllr Angie Dale, leader of Richmondshire District Council, said: “We hope everyone will join the celebrations for VE Day on Friday from the safety of their own front gardens.

“We urge households to decorate their homes with red, white and blue and pay tribute to the people who gave so much for our country.

“We also ask people to stop and remember the people working tirelessly on the fight against coronavirus – our key workers in the NHS, as well as those delivering supplies, serving in shops, emptying waste and the like.

“They, like the war veterans, will give us our freedom once more.”

Cllr Jim Clark, chairman of North Yorkshire County Council, added: “This anniversary is an opportunity to look forward as well as back, particularly given the situation in which we find ourselves today.

“Then, as now, it is about community spirit, which we can show through remembrance and thanksgiving and standing against hatred and prejudice and for building stronger communities.

“I encourage people to take time to reflect and to remember in their own way.”

North Yorkshire local authorities have put together some tips on how to ensure celebrations go with a swing and how to pay tribute to those who sacrificed so much:

  • Get crafty with homemade bunting and pictures to decorate your home
  • Get creative in the kitchen with VE Day-inspired retro snacks and baking treats
  • Encourage your children to get involved in your family activities and use the home schooling resources available to download from
  • Organise a virtual party by video link for your neighbours, family or friends. Don’t forget to show off your homemade decorations and bunting!
  • Although street parties are not possible at the moment, if your street was planning one, you can still honour the occasion in your front garden or on your doorstep, as long as you observe social distancing guidelines
  • Remember that some of your neighbours may not be in a position to celebrate. They may be separated from family and friends, or may be bereaved, or feel intimated by noise. In the true spirit of WW2 communities, look out for the vulnerable, lonely and isolated. Include them or be respectful of their wishes if they don’t want to join in and mindful of how noise may impact on how they are feeling
  • Take part in the national moment of remembrance and two minutes silence at 11am
  • Watch the Royal British Legion livestream from 11.15am at – hear stories and memories from those who served and made sacrifices during the war
  • Keep up to date with the day’s events on social media using #VEDay75 and #VEDay75Live
  • Raise your glasses for the national toast at 3pm using the words “To those who gave so much, we thank you.” It’s an opportunity to toast the heroes of the war as well as all those making a difference today in the fight against coronavirus
  • Enjoy an evening of memories and music from 8pm on BBC One
  • Listen or watch the special VE Day anniversary address by Her Majesty The Queen at 9pm
  • Take part in a UK-wide rendition of Vera Lynn’s ‘We’ll Meet Again’ just after 9pm. Sing along indoors or better still, from your window, doorstep or garden.