V.E. Celebrations

The staff were given the job of painting a big red 'V' onto each of the cream drinking mugs.

Photograph of V.E. Day Street Party

V.E. Day Street Party

Street parties were the most popular form of celebration.  Everyone brought a table and tablecloth out of the house and joined them together right down the street.  Children and elderly people all had seats while the mothers ran in and out of the houses beside the tables with pots of tea.  Despite food rationing, a good selection of sandwiches and cakes were provided.

Narrow streets would have red, white and blue bunting strung across the street.  Union Jacks were a popular decoration.  After our street party, a few people got together to plan a joint party for the next victory – V.J.  Our road joined with three other adjoining roads and held a big party in the Catholic Church Hall.  I cannot remember the food or drink but do remember the games.  There was much laughter and harmless fun that night!  This party was held about three weeks after V.J. day.

On the actual V.J. day, my sister was staying with our aunt and uncle who lived in Preston village.  My uncle woke her up about 10.30 p.m. saying everyone was going to Northumberland Square for midnight.  She’d be fifteen years old at the time but simply put a coat on top of her pyjamas for the walk.  The Square was full of people, milling around; nothing special happened so they walked home again. She cannot remember any celebration at school for V.E. or V.J.

In the September, she went to do a year’s teacher training at Meadow Well Infant School.  The Headteacher, Miss Murray, managed to get some cream drinking mugs, enough for all the children.  The staff were given the job of painting a big red ‘V’ on them all.  Then they were given to the children.  How many got home without being cracked or broken they never knew.

At St. Peter’s Church, Mr Ossie Irving, who organised all the social gatherings there, had the idea of ‘Welcome Home’ social gatherings for the men and women when they were demobbed.  His only son, Jack, had been killed serving with the RAF but he felt it important to welcome servicemen home.  He asked for donations from the congregation and several of these social evenings were held in the months after the war.  Of course, members of the congregation went to these parties as well.

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