With only one more day to go until the VE-Day 75th Anniversary, today we would like to remind you how you can celebrate within your own home and garden.
Get the Party Started
Just because we are in Lockdown does not mean that we can’t decorate our homes with flags and bunting, dress ourselves up, party in our homes and gardens and sing along with the music of the 1940s.
Over the past 10 days we have been giving you ideas about what you can do on Friday May 8th to celebrate this significant anniversary. You can find a pattern for knitted bunting, downloadable union jack flags and even a colouring in place mat right here:
Bishopsteignton Heritage had organised a large programme of events to celebrate VE75, we even had the programmes printed to be distributed throughout the village, then the Lockdown came. So rather than waste them, our ingenious archivist Imogen has fashioned them into rosettes. You can collect the materials and pattern free from the Supply Stores, Pharmacy and Old Commercial Bakery. Start making!
Dress the Part
Of course, if you are going to party like it’s 1945, you need to look the part! Hints on how to dress for the day are here:
Get yourself and your family in the mood by dressing them in typical 1940s fashion. Learn how to tie a turban, make a ‘pinny ‘ and adapt your modern wardrobe to look the part. Or just make paper hats!
Here is a pattern you can download and make your own:
Bake that Cake!
And what will you eat at your party at home? Get some tips and recipes here:
Of course, back in 1945 there was severe food rationing in place, so the choice of goodies to cook was more restricted. Luckily now, even with our own limited ingredients due to lockdown, we should be able to whip up something tasty for tea!
Music, Music, Music.
One thing that will be essential to the party atmosphere is music, and we are going to have that all over the village on Friday afternoon.
Along with speeches, a toast to the Nation, and military pipes we shall be broadcasting two hours of 1940s music and songs from over 20 PA systems dotted around the village, finishing with a huge sing along of ‘We’ll Meet Again’ and ‘The White Cliffs of Dover’ at 5pm which we want everyone to join in with.
As we had to postpone the Singing for Victory session that would have happened this week, we have included the songs, with links to the original versions and the words so you can sing along here:
This is the programme of events that will be broadcast around the village on Friday and the weekend.
In order to maintain social distancing and discourage people from gathering to listen to speeches, they are all included in the broadcast, so you should be able to hear them somewhere near you. These are the locations where the broadcast can be heard from, hopefully everyone should be near enough to hear and join in.
So do listen out for those good old songs and sing your heart out!
And when the time comes to sing the National Anthem, here are the words;
God save our gracious Queen,
Long live our noble Queen,
God save the Queen!
Send her victorious,
Happy and glorious,
Long to reign over us,
God save the Queen!
O Lord our God arise,
Scatter our enemies,
And make them fall!
Confound their politics,
Frustrate their knavish tricks,
On Thee our hopes we fix,
God save us all!
Thy choicest gifts in store,
On her be pleased to pour,
Long may she reign!
May she defend our laws,
And ever give us cause,
To sing with heart and voice,
God save the Queen!
What VE-Day is All About
Of course, this day of celebration came at the end of nearly six years of warfare, and we cannot forget the bravery of the people that went through that war, many of them from or in Bishopsteignton.
In the past ten days we have published articles on some of those people, including Evacuees:
The Women who went to war alongside the men:
And the Heroes that fought or stayed at home to protect us:
Dance On the Day!
Last but not least, we fully intend to DANCE!
One of the events that Bishopsteignton Heritage was looking forward to hosting was a Lindy Hop demonstration and dance in preparation for the VE- Day party. So we are expecting you to all dance around your garden. Find out how here:
See demonstrations by the fabulous South West Lindy Hoppers who, we hope can join us later in the year so we can still have a fun event.
Something for the Kids
Not to be discouraged, Bishopsteignton Heritage is still intending to hold a proper Bishopsteignton Street Party later in the year when we can all meet again and be together. These are the party packs we have ready to give the children on the day. They consist of things that children would have had to amuse themselves in wartime.
It is important that the younger generation understand why we celebrate these events so here are some puzzles and poems to help them.
VE themed templates for colouring in, cutting out and folding can be found here:
It’s over, it’s finished, the war has now been won,
Thank God it’s finally ended; finished; over; done!
we’ll no longer hear the sirens as the bombs come falling down,
no longer hear the aircraft as they fly above the town,
no longer see the searchlights lighting up the darkened sky,
or see the burning buildings of the terraces nearby.
We can hear the people cheering as the bells peal out the news,
and we gather, dancing in the road, dispelling wartime blues.
It’s victory in Europe – oh such a lovely sound,
no bombs, no incendiary fires, no more sleeping underground!
The roads are filled with happy people, celebrating victory,
the lights are on in every town, such a brilliant sight to see,
there’s bonfires and fireworks, a colourful display,
we’ll sing and dance and drink with cheer until night turns to day.
We’ll not forget the sacrifices made by others in our name,
they gave their lives so we might live in freedom’s sweet domain.
Their fighting now is ended, rejoice in victory,
England and her allies will remain forever free.
Patricia Denise Newman
Victory in Europe
Fifty years ago;
To some it doesn’t mean a thing,
It happened long ago.
It’s just a thing they talk about,
Those old men down the street;
Today’s kids cannot understand,
They never felt the heat.
They never knew the torment,
The heartache, pain and death;
They’ve never seen a soldier
That’s fighting for his breath.
The victory in Europe
Was certainly hard won
For who lost a brother,
A father or a son;
For men who gave the ultimate
Upon some foreign land;
A poppy for a head-stone
Now growing in the sand.
This victory in Europe
About which now I write,
It made me free,
I’m glad I didn’t have to go and fight.
I’m thankful that those old men,
The ones still living yet
Keep talking of V.E. day,
And won’t let us forget.
Written May 1995
John Carter Brown
Party like it’s 1945!
In 1945 people were so relieved about the end of WWII they celebrated all day and all night, particularly in the cities.
The BBC are intending to help the celebrations this year as we are all restricted to our homes. See their offering here:
Some helpful tips for helping us record this special event
We would especially like to record the village joining in with “We’ll Meet Again” at 5 o’clock, but would love to record any other history our village may be making on the day.
Please send any images to [email protected] (we won’t be able to include them all on the page, but would love to have them all in our archive).
Hopefully we can produce something like the “Over the Rainbow” experience from last month.
If anybody is videoing a principle singer or musician please do so throughout, otherwise please feel free to pan around as you see fit!
Use Wetransfer.com to send us any video as the file size will be too large to email. (It’s a simple form – upload the file, fill in the “to” box with “[email protected]” and the from box with your email address – we won’t use it for any purpose you have not already given us permission for. There is a message box – you can let us know if you would like credit on the final cut).
If using Wetransfer.com is a problem email us and we will arrange something to suit you – we’re looking forward to seeing it!
So, the most important things of all, Remember and Have Fun!
References and credits
Bishopsteignton Heritage would like to thank the following people for their help in making our village VE-Day Celebration happen.
Jason McMurray for the brilliant work on our broadcast
Roger Gallagher for the speeches
Di Ewing, Sally Grant and Sandra Ridley for the information on the Women at War from our village
Sarah Cockerton and Sarah Irvine for articles on Nursing and the WI
Mal Worral for recipes
Jess and Richard Gibby for articles on the Battle of Britain and What is VE Day?
Clare Fairburn of the Liberty Sisters for her generous gift of their music
Dawn Rogers for the paper patterns and for Digging for Victory
Richard Wharton for the wonderful wartime records
Helen Garratt for the work on our Singing for Victory project
Everyone who has offered to broadcast from their homes to help our day go with a swing
You might also be interested in...Countdown to VE Day – 6 days to go – Sing for Victory
Countdown to VE Day – 3 days to go – Dancing
VE Day Celebrations 2020
Countdown to VE Day – 7 days to go – Cook for Victory
Countdown to VE Day – 5 days to go – Evacuees
Countdown to VE Day – 2 days to go – Heroes
Countdown to VE-Day – 9 days to go – Flags and Bunting
Countdown to VE Day – 4 days to go – Women at War
Countdown to VE Day – 10 days to go – Celebrations
Countdown to VE Day – 8 days to go – Forties Fashion