Celebrate VE Day 75 at home

Join people across Plymouth to celebrate VE Day 75 from the safety of your own home.

VE Day 75 takes place on Friday 8th May – which is the first May Bank Holiday this year – and marks 75 years since the end of World War II in Europe.

With large commemoration events across the country cancelled due to coronavirus, Plymouth City Council is encouraging you to join in by hosting a party at home, with members of your household, instead.

Deputy Council leader Pete Smith said: “We were due to host a fantastic community event on Plymouth Hoe for VE Day and it goes without saying that we were devastated when we had to cancel.

“However, just because we can’t all gather together physically it doesn’t mean we can’t commemorate this significant anniversary. It’s a chance for us all to give thanks to and remember those who lost their lives during the war, and to reflect on the past. Plymouth was heavily damaged by the war. Our city was bombed on 59 separate occasions during the Blitz, resulting in thousands of buildings being destroyed and 1,178 civilian lives lost. It certainly puts into perspective what we’re going through today.

“It’s also important to remember that in 1945, it was a day of celebration. Street parties took place across the country and The Box has shared some wonderful photos from the city’s archives showing communities in Plymouth celebrating together on the day. We’re encouraging you to join in your own celebrations 75 years on, with moments of reflection as well as plenty of fun activities to enjoy.”

A huge range of resources have been pulled together in a dedicated area on the Visit Plymouth website to help you throw your own 1940s themed party at home, including bunting templates, hair tutorials, wartime recipes and a playlist. Plymouth Dance, who host ‘Tea Dances with a Twist’, have filmed three different tutorials so you can learn some new moves and dance along to vintage tunes provided by The Drat Pack.

A range of children’s worksheets are available to download, including rationing-themed maths puzzles, word searches and crafts, which offer a useful home-schooling opportunity during lockdown.

The Box has provided some fantastic film clips showing Plymouth during the war years. The footage offers a glimpse into the city’s past, including the King’s secret visit in 1941 and the bomb damage the city suffered during the Blitz.

The Box is also coordinating this year’s Plymouth History Festival which is running online from 8 to 31 May. The start of the festival has been timed to coincide with VE Day 75. You’ll be able to see an online gallery featuring even more fascinating archive images from the city’s collections, as well as links to information and resources from the Imperial War Museums and Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

For those wishing to participate in VE Day at home, there are a number of key moments during the day that everyone is invited to take part in, which will bring people across the country together from a distance. This includes a two minute silence at 11am and the Nation’s Toast to wartime heroes at 3pm – to join in, simply raise a glass of a refreshment of your choice and say: “For those that gave so much, we thank you.”

Find out more and discover all of the resources available at visitplymouth.co.uk/veday75.

You can follow the History Festival from 8 May at plymouthhistoryfestival.com.

If you host a VE Day celebration then please ensure you follow all social distancing guidelines, stay at home and only celebrate with the family or friends that you live with.

Join in with all the fun from the information above and make sure you visit the Dance and Sing – a – Long page or follow the link below to join in with one of our Tea Dance with a Twist! Practitioners, Karen Parkinsons, with easy to follow dances and music provided by the amazing The Drat Pack.

https://www.visitplymouth.co.uk/whats-on/top-events/ve-day-75/dance-and-sing-a-long

The Plymouth Dance Team