Vale of Glamorgan Council marks VE Day
The Vale of Glamorgan Council is encouraging residents to celebrate the 75th anniversary of VE Day at home by taking part in a number of activities to mark the occasion
Unfortunately, restrictions to prevent the spread of coronavirus mean the usual ceremony held outside the Civic Offices in Barry and other public gatherings cannot take place this year.
But the Union Flag will fly above the building and residents are invited to join a national moment of remembrance by observing the two-minute silence from their homes, doorsteps or places of work at
11am on Friday.
Coverage of the occasion will be broadcast on television, with Winston Churchill’s speech announcing the end of the war shown at 3pm.
The Queen will then address the Country at 9pm, the exact time her father King George VI spoke on radio in 1945, before the Royal British Legion sing We’ll Meet Again.
There is also a national drive to hold a stay-at-home celebration, with tea and scones scheduled for 4pm and dinner at 6pm when people are asked to raise a glass to their neighbours.
Ordinarily, many communities would be organising street parties to honour this special anniversary and the Council has come up with a variety of ways in which the festivities can continue indoors.
The Sports Development team has been providing tips on how to make bunting that can be hung outside the home and recipes to prepare food that would have been eaten at the time.
They have also been promoting games and play activities of the era, while the Council will be sharing other ideas on how to mark VE Day on social media.
Town and Community Councils are also getting in on the act, with Llantwit Major Town Council encouraging buglers, trumpeters and cornet players to join a rendition of the Last post at 2.55pm. There will then be a toast to the heroes of WWII taking place from home at 3pm.
Barry Town Council are asking residents to decorate windows and hold picnics in their gardens, Penarth Town council will fly the Armed Forces flag at West House, while Cowbridge Town Council are decorating the town hall and organising socially distanced street parties.
Community Councils throughout the Vale will be hanging bunting and inviting people to hold garden parties for their household.
Cllr Eddie Williams, Vale of Glamorgan Council Armed Forces Champion, said: “We owe a debt of gratitude to those who served in combat and on the home front during the second World War.
“The recent hardship caused by the coronavirus pandemic has in some small way perhaps helped us better appreciate the enormous sacrifices made by ordinary men and women more than seven decades ago.
“They gave everything for the freedoms we enjoy today. That fact should never be forgotten and it’s important we take the time to mark this occasion even though that must be done from within our own homes.”
Cllr Christine Cave, Mayor of the Vale of Glamorgan, will twice feature Bro Radio during the day, delivering a message just after 11am before reading a poem four hours later.
“I have been moved by the acts of kindness taking place throughout our communities during the current crisis,” she said. “Adversity like we’re experiencing at the moment really can bring people together and I would encourage everyone to unite to mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day.
“We must, of course, celebrate this milestone from home, but that does not make the occasion any less significant.”
Warrant Officer Dave Stroud, MOD St Athan Station Warrant Officer, said: “VE Day is a chance to pause and remember. We in the Armed Forces take tremendous pride in wearing our uniforms because of what our uniforms stand for.
“Our uniforms stand for all those men and women who were involved in both World Wars, those that paid the ultimate price, those who lived with terrible physical and mental scars, those who wore their uniforms with such outstanding bravery, passion, commitment and determination.
“All of them gave everything in the fight and the winning of, the freedom we all take for granted today.”