Friday 8 May 2020 marks the 75th Anniversary of VE Day following the end of the Second World War in Europe. To commemorate this event, Chippenham Town Council has been working with community groups to stage a day of celebrations to evoke the feeling of spontaneous joy that occurred in the Market Place 75 years ago. This event has been postponed and is hoped to be replaced when able to with a town celebration which will honour all those who serve the community both in 1945 and today.
However, still keen to join the national celebrations for VE Day safely at home, Chippenham Town Council will be marking VE Day virtually by releasing a video on Friday 8 May made by community groups due to take part in the event.
The video includes memories from VE Day, photographs, singing, dancing and acting. There will be an address from Mayor of Chippenham Cllr Desna Allen and a recording of a small private commemoration at the town’s War Memorial led by the Royal British Legion.
Cllr Teresa Hutton, Chair of the Amenities, Culture and Leisure committee said “As we find ourselves in uncertain times, the VE Day anniversary provides an opportunity to reflect on the courage and determination of those who lived through the Second World War. We hope the video we have produced will give our community an opportunity to unite whilst isolating and also act as a lasting legacy of our current situation”
Before releasing the video, Chippenham Museum will be sharing ideas on social media of how to evoke the spirit the war years at home by decorating with bunting or holding a tea party online. Residents are invited to share their virtual get-togethers and sing-alongs using the hashtag #VEDayChippenham
Melissa Barnett, Head of Museum and Heritage Services, describes Chippenham on VE Day “Large crowds gathered to hear Winston Churchill proclaim the end of the war in Europe and the streets, decorated with flags and bunting, were filled with revellers singing and dancing far into the night.”
Families inspired by VE Day can continue to learn about Chippenham in the Second World War with Chippenham Museum. On Friday 8 May the museum, a Chippenham Town Council facility, will be launching a number of worksheets exploring Chippenham and the Home Front which will be downloadable from the museum’s website.
Melissa Barnett, Head of Museum and Heritage Services, continues “I would like to thank our local community who have evoked the spirit of those who lived during the war years so well by providing content for our video at such short notice. Using recording skills only recently learned during the current Covid19 lockdown, they have created a fitting and lasting memorial to those who served during WW2.”
Chippenham Town Council’s VE Day Community Tribute video will be released at 4pm on Friday 8 May from the Town Council’s Facebook and Twitter pages and www.chippenham.gov.uk . The video is a local contribution to a number of national VE Day events including a two minute silence at 11am and later that evening the Queen’s address at 9pm followed by a doorstep sing-a-long to ‘We’ll Meet Again’.