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VE Day 75th Anniversary in Bishopsteignton – NLHF Funded Celebrations

by Imogen Smith | VE Day 75th Anniversary Celebrations

Bishopsteignton Heritage received a National Lottery Heritage Fund grant in January 2020 for the creation of a project to bring the local community together by celebrating the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War in Europe. Many of the events we planned early in 2020 could not be carried out due to Coronavirus Lockdown measures.

To replace some of the celebrations arranged for the community throughout May 2020, Bishopsteignton Heritage created an online ‘Countdown to VE Day’ to encourage the village to celebrate safely. A book was published, featuring our VE75 online content including our ‘Countdown to VE Day’, some village histories and a gallery of photographs and memories from the day itself, 8th May 2020.

Take a look at some of our memories from VE75 on the VE Day Celebrations 2020 homepage  or view the VE Day Celebrations Book.

VE Day header

Ken Irvin, Chairman of the Board of Trustees sets out our aims for the future of the project following VE75 and the Coronavirus pandemic:

Bishopsteignton Heritage began in 2020 with great plans for the year ahead.We were well established in our new home at the Community Centre and our vision of creating a heritage facility in the village to record and preserve the story of Bishopsteignton was becoming a reality.

Led by our Creative Consultant, Archivist, and Digital Assets Manager, we had over 50 volunteers engaged in recording details of people, places, events and environments that tell the story of Bishopsteignton. 2020 marks the 75th anniversary of VE Day and a grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund enabled us to plan a whole series of community events throughout the year to celebrate.

Despite the Coronavirus pandemic Lockdown measures, we were determined to lead the village in commemorating the anniversary of the end of the Second World War as well as to record the ways in which the village responded to the pandemic situation.

I would also like to thank our team of talented professionals as well as my fellow Trustees and all those who have contributed to the project for their dedication during this difficult year. While our Heritage Hub has remained closed to the public, our Project Team and Trustees have worked hard throughout the year to plan celebrations for VE Day and continue working towards our vision of creating a record of Bishopsteignton as it is now and throughout its history.

We see Bishopsteignton Heritage as a project for the whole community and we are always looking for enthusiastic volunteers to help preserve and grow our collection and make it as accessible as possible. In 2021, we hope to continue with our programme of growing our collection and making it accessible online as well as expanding our team of volunteers, researchers and other supporters. We aim to nourish educational relationships with local schools, colleges and universities and engage young people with their heritage while learning new digital and research skills.

We will also be installing more information boards around the village to help tell the stories of places like the Bishop’s Palace, the Community Centre and Fore Street and giving more talks and lectures both online and in person when it is again safe for us to gather together.