VE Day 75

Virtual VE Day 75 Celebrations

Ards and North Down Borough Council is encouraging residents across the borough to join in with a host of virtual VE Day 75 celebrations from the comfort of their own homes on Friday 8 May.

It will be 75 years since the guns fell silent at the end of World War II in Europe and this special anniversary will provide the people of Ards and North Down with an opportunity to remember those who made tremendous sacrifices at home and abroad.

Virtual celebrations will be held across the UK and to help kick off the proceedings, residents can take part in designing their own bunting. Designs should be submitted via the Council's social media channels by 7 May and the best will be displayed online during the 75th anniversary. See ardsandnorthdown.gov.uk/VE75 for templates and how to guide.

On Thursday 7 May, North Down Museum will sound its World War II siren at 8pm to coincide with the Clap for our Carers.

Friday 8 May will be dedicated to all those who made sacrifices during the War through our online channels.

Residents will be encouraged to observe a two-minute silence at 11am before taking part in a national toast at 3pm. People across the country will 'raise a glass' at home and will have an opportunity to see a local Piper play via the Council's social media channels.

To complete the day, the Royal British Legion is encouraging everyone to take part in a UK-wide sing-a-long to Vera Lynn's 'We'll Meet Again' at 9pm.

For further information see the Council's social media channels.

#ANDVirtualVE75

VE Party playlist
A party isn’t complete without a playlist. The 1940’s was known for big band and jazz; why not use our Spotify playlist to inspire your VE Day sounds.

Some more ideas to help you celebrate VE Day 75

Design your own VE Day Bunting

On Friday 8 May 2020 Britain will be commemorating the 75th anniversary of VE Day when the guns fell silent at the end of war in Europe.

Due to the coronavirus restrictions most VE Day 75 events and street parties have had to be cancelled or postponed but we still want you to be able to mark the occasion, share your pride in our country and honour the men and women of WW2.

You can make your own special VE Day 75 Bunting to display in your window at home.

Here are all the instructions you need to get started using any paper, cereal boxes, string, ribbon, sweet wrappers, felt pens, poster paint you have or whatever you can find.

How to make your own bunting guide
Bunting Template

Royal British Legion Live Stream - 11.15am Friday 8 May 2020

On Friday 8 May at 11.15 am the Royal British Legion will be hosting a VE Day 75 livestream - sharing stories and memories from those who served and sacrificed during WW2 and recognising the difficulties people are experiencing today.

Grab a cup of tea and join them as they bring the WW2 generation together with today’s generation to chat about their shared experiences.

RSVP now to be part of this special event. https://bit.ly/2Yg9LQB

Wartime recipes

During the War, everyone had to adapt to food shortages, with rationing introduced in January 1940 and a “creative” approach to food was equired to make the best of what was available. Food imports were hit hard by the attacks on shipping convoys, so home-grown food became of crucial importance.

Some wartime recipes are below: why not give them a try!

Potato Piglets 

This recipe combines potato and sausage meat to produce the perfect ‘Potato Piglet.’  The ‘Potato Piglets’ recipe also reminded people about the importance of not wasting food during the war: a message that we still think is important today! 

Ingredients 

6 medium well-scrubbed potatoes 
Cooked cabbage, lightly chopped 
6 skinned sausages 

Method 

Remove a centre core, using an apple corer, from the length of each potato, and stuff the cavity with sausage meat. Bake in the usual way and arrange the piglets on a bed of cooked cabbage. (The potato removed from each is useful for soup.) 

Woolton pie

Named after Lord Woolton who popularised the recipe after he became Minister of Food in 1940. It was created at the Savoy Hotel in London by its then Maitre Chef de Cuisine, Francis Latry. The pie is a pastry dish of vegetables, widely served in the Second World War when rationing and shortages made other dishes hard to prepare. It was recommended by the Ministry of Food to enable a nutritious diet to be maintained despite shortages and rationing of many types of food, especially meat.

There are lots of recipes online for this, and we imagine the original version verymuch depended on what was availale. We like this recipe from BBC Good Food 

The Nations Toast - 3pm Friday 8 May 2020

At 3pm on Friday 8 May 2020 we will raise our glasses, our cups of tea, our chosen tipple, as we take part in The Nation’s Toast to the Heroes of World War 2.

Together we say: “To those who gave so much - We Thank You”
 

Royal British Legion - 9pm sing-a-long to Dame Vera Lynn's We'll Meet Again

At 9pm on Friday 8 May the RBL will be leading a UK-wide rendition of Dame Vera Lynn’s ‘We’ll Meet Again’ to mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day.

As we face some of the most challenging times since the end of the Second World War, now more than ever it is important to come together and unite.

Take part in this national moment of thanksgiving and celebration, in honour of our Second World War generation. You can watch and join in on BBC One who will be featuring the singalong as part of their VE Day broadcast.

Join in by singing:

We'll meet again
Don't know where
Don't know when
But I know we'll meet again 
Some sunny day

Keep smiling through
Just like you always do
'Till the blue skies chase
Those dark clouds far away

And I will just say hello
To the folks that you know
Tell them you won't be long
They'll be happy to know
That, as I saw you go
You were singing this song

We'll meet again
Don't know where
Don't know when
But I know we'll meet again
Some sunny day

And I will just say hello
To the folks that you know
Tell them you won't be long
They'll be happy to know
That, as I saw you go
You were singing this song

We'll meet again
Don't know where
Don't know when
But I know we'll meet again
Some sunny day

VE Party playlist

A party isn’t complete without a playlist. The 1940’s was known for big band and jazz; why not use our Spotify playlist to inspire your VE Day sounds.

Listen to our Spotify playlist here

Swing Gals

As part of our Virtual VE celebrations, we are delighted that the Swing Gals have provided us with a video specially recorded to celebrate VE75. 

The Swing Gals were due to feature in our VE75 weekend of celebrations so we are deligted to be able to share this with you.

Swing Gals - Tico Tico

Read stories from real people who served during the Second Word War

In 2019 Ards and North Down Borough Council presented specially commissioned silver poppies to local World War Two veterans at a ceremony in Bangor Castle. 

As part of our VE Day celebrations, we have included their stories here for you to read

Frederick Edward (Ted) Halsey – Joined the Royal Navy aged 17, before transfer to Fleet Air Arm and then on to the RAF Technical Establishment to train as an Aircraft Electrical Fitter. 

Arthur Dennis Bomber - Royal Berkshire Regiment, saw action in India as part of the Arakan Campaign and Battle of Kohima. Badly injured in April 1944 before discharge in September 1944. 

 Ronald Martin Wallace - Joined Royal Navy in 944 aged 18. Served as a radio operator in the Mediterranean on motor torpedo boats. 

 John Henry Gilpin - Enlisted in 1939 at the age of 17 and served with RAF Bomber Command.  

Henry Morrell Murphy - Joined the Royal Navy in 1942. Was serving on HMS Capel when it was torpedoed and sank. Arrived home to find his parents had been informed he  was missing, presumed dead.  

Maureen Lucy Lightbody - Joined the WRENS in 1943, aged 18. Trained to be a Visual Signaller on the Aldis Lamp, signalling code to ships entering and leaving Belfast Lough. stationed in the Royal Hotel, Bangor, and on duty in the run-up to D-Day. 

North Down Museum Digital Exhibition

This digital exhibition explores the end of the Second World War and the lead up to Victory in Europe (VE) Day. Told through the stories of local people, the theme of liberation runs through its narrative from the turning point of D-Day through to the celebrations of VE Day.

View the exhibition