Friday 8th May is VE Day and marks the 75th anniversary of the end of the second World War. At the start of 2020, our Bristol retirement houses were starting to plan how we might celebrate by getting residents and team members together with neighbours, friends and families. All sorts of lovely, creative ideas were floating around.
Even thought the Coronavirus pandemic has put a stop to larger events, it doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy this wonderful occasion from home. While our 5 retirement houses continue to plan smaller celebrations for residents and team members, here are some ideas for you can plan for the day from your homes:
1. Make your own VE Day bunting
You can’t celebrate anything as truly British as VE Day without bunting! And, if you’re a creative type, you might want to make your own using card, paper, paints, pens, ribbon or even sweet wrappers! The BBC has a template you can download here for Great British Bunting and step by step instructions for gorgeous bunting here that will keep the whole family occupied for hours!
2. Two Minute Silence
Across our retirement houses, we’ll be joining communities across the UK to honour the service and sacrifice of the WW2 generation in a 2 minute silence at 11am.
3. Party from your Sofa
11:15am – Straight after the 2 minute silence, tune into the VE Day 75 livestream by the Royal British Legion on their website or Facebook page. It’s a special livestream to bring the WW2 generation together with today’s generation, to share stories and experiences. It’s a packed 80 minutes with music, interviews, stories and images. Plus, there’s a forward from Dame Vera Lynn and actress Dame Joan Collins talks about here memories as an evacuee.
Throughout the afternoon, residents across our retirement houses will be enjoying a very British cream tea, so why not join us (in spirit only, of course)?
8pm – Tune into BBC1 for an evening of music and memories
9pm – A UK-wide singalong to Vera Lynn’s “We’ll Meet Again”
4. Take a Trip Down Memory Lane
A wonderful collection of photos from this historical day has been put together by English Heritage, capturing the happiness and jubilation of the population as they said goodbye to a hugely difficult period. You can see these on the English Heritage website here.
It should be a wonderful day – even if it means celebrating from your armchair.
If you’d like to see more ideas about what you can do to celebrate VE Day on Friday 8th May, check out The Abbeyfield Society’s page here.