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VE Day 75th Anniversary

What is VE Day?

VE Day – or ‘Victory in Europe Day’ – marks the day towards the end of World War Two (WW2) when fighting against Nazi Germany in Europe came to an end. On 8 May 1945, Prime Minister Winston Churchill made an announcement on the radio at 3pm that the war in Europe had come to an end, following Germany’s surrender the day before.

By the beginning of 1945, the German army had been weakened and defeat looked likely. Tuesday 8 May, 1945, was an emotional day that millions of people had been waiting for. Many people were extremely happy that the fighting had stopped and there were big celebrations and street parties.

Ideas to help you celebrate VE Day

Celebrating anything during lockdown is difficult but it shouldn’t be a reason to not celebrate – try to see it instead as a challenge to overcome. So to help you celebrate the 75th Anniversary of VE Day this Friday 8th May, we have come up with a number of activities for you.

Shopping, keeping the house in order and trying to make a difference all have elements in common with the 1940’s. Here are five ways you might join in and contribute. The BIG IDEA is the Tottington Virtual Feast:

Send photos of your own VE Day celebrations to jchadderton@tottingtonhighsch.co.uk and we will publish the best ones on here.

Task 1: Baking on a ration

There was rationing in the 1940’s and lots of families have been baking together. Why not have a go at making one or two meals or items from the wartime diet?

This website: https://the1940sexperiment.com/100-wartime-recipes/ has lots of wartime recipes. Here are three of the top suggestions.

  1. The Woolton Pie: There was little meat but lots of veg. This pie fooled people. Delicious but actually no meat or very little.
  2. Spam fritters: The Americans sent tinned meat over. Spam was eaten in all sorts of ways.
  3. Carrot cake: Carrots are naturally sweet. This lovely cake is still a favourite. No butter cream on top please, not enough sugar in the ration.

Task 2: Decorate a window

Decorate a Thank-you Window for The Golden Generation. Get pictures drawn, coloured or cheat and print them. We cannot see them now or cuddle them so send our Grannies and Great Grandads a message. Bunting looks good. Send us a picture of your efforts.

Task 3: Pack your bag

Pack your bag and picture it. 1.5 million children were sent from the cities to the country. Perhaps your family has an evacuee. If you do, write out a list of questions and film yourself interviewing them. Then pack one bag for yourself. What do you really need to live away from home for two, or three, or six years? One small suitcase only.
Send us your suitcase picture with the contents spread on the bed next to the case or bag.

Task 4: Watch or read something

Horrible Histories on BBC iPlayer has one brilliant episode. Series 8.9 Heroic Home Front.
Here are some famous films. All “true stories.”

  • Hope And Glory. A film of the war from a child’s viewpoint.
  • Dunkirk 2017. A really big screen film. The older version is 1958. B&W but I think it is much better.
  • The Pianist. The story of one man surviving the Holocaust.
  • The Great Escape. Clear the decks, settle down for three hours and be prepared to cry at a man on a bike. True story, no really.
  • Downfall. For older students. It is in German. It is scrupulous in its truth. This is how Hitler spent his last few days.
  • Goodnight Mr Tom. Not at all true, but a fabulous film.
  • The Dam Busters.
  • Schindler’s List. This is the one that tells you why we have to be so grateful to that generation.
  • The Battle of Britain. After watching this one you have to get an airfix Spitfire. This is why Captain Tom had a flypast.
  • Sergeant Stubby.

The following is a list of recommendations of books to get to read. It was published in the Guardian 5 years ago. Read one or two.

Task 5: Have a VE Day Party

Go for the full unforgettable lockdown experience. Research the fashions, dress up and have your own VE Day party on Friday.
And remember, take photos of your celebrations and email them to jchadderton@tottingtonhighsch.co.uk and we will publish the best ones. Have fun and stay safe!

Your V.E. Day Memories & Celebrations

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