Brits celebrate 75th anniversary of VE Day in lockdown with socially distanced parties

8 May 2020, 16:37

By Matt Drake

Today marks the 75th anniversary of VE Day and it has fallen amid historical social distancing measures, but that has not stopped people celebrating.

All across the country, people are holding socially distanced celebrations to mark the Allies' victory over Nazi Germany in 1945, bringing the Second World War in Europe to an end.

In Brentwood, a household held a socially distanced garden party including a cutout of the Queen, a classic red telephone box as well as Union Flags blazoned to mark the special occasion.

And in Lutterworth, Leicestershire, the neighbours of 95-year-old Aneurin “Taff” Owen came out to mark VE Day with him.

He was in the RAF and flew over London and Holland on 8th May 1945 to see everyone in the streets celebrating the end of the war.

Meanwhile, Joseph Williams, from Brentwood in Essex, was seen playing the Last Post on his trumpet at around 3pm this afternoon.

In Leazes Care Home in County Durham, Deborah Taylor-Smith, otherwise known as Wor Vera, sung classic war-time tunes to residents to lift their spirits during the coronavirus pandemic.

She began singing at 10am this morning and is not planning on stopping until 10pm this evening as she tours care homes across the North East.

All money she raises will go towards putting care packages together for the homes, filled with things like soap and sanitisers.

One house in Brentwood went all-out to mark the special day
One house in Brentwood went all-out to mark the special day. Picture: LBC News
The decorations included a cardboard cutout of the Queen
The decorations included a cardboard cutout of the Queen. Picture: LBC News

Veteran Captain Tom Moore, who raised money for the NHS by completing laps in his garden, was commemorated in his local pub.

The Bell in Marston Mortaine, Bedfordshire, sold Tom Moore beer after he managed to raise £250,000 on his 100th birthday.

The UK's first skytyping display has been conducted, to mark VE Day and pay tribute to frontline workers.

Messages such as 'We Will Meet Again' and 'Thank You' were etched in the sky above Henstridge airfield in Somerset.

People across Britain have enjoyed socially distanced garden parties
People across Britain have enjoyed socially distanced garden parties. Picture: LBC News
The anniversary has fallen during the historical lockdown measures
The anniversary has fallen during the historical lockdown measures. Picture: LBC News
Captain Tom Moore has also been commemorated with his own beer
Captain Tom Moore has also been commemorated with his own beer. Picture: LBC News

The display was commissioned by the Department for Transport, which recently introduced a law change to allow skytyping and skywriting to take place.

The techniques were made illegal in the UK in the 1960s over safety concerns, but are used in many countries such as the US, Australia, France and Spain.

Skywriting was inadvertently discovered by an RAF pilot during the First World War, when oil accidentally entered a plane's exhaust, creating dense, white smoke.

The UK's first skytyping display spells out 'VE'
The UK's first skytyping display spells out 'VE'. Picture: PA

According to the DfT, skytyping, which involves smoke being emitted in a series of bursts, was not conducted in the UK before Friday's display in Somerset.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: "Victory in Europe Day will always be a landmark in British history and it is an honour to have commissioned the first skytyping display in the UK to mark the occasion.

"With its strong British history, stemming from the creation of skywriting, it seems an entirely fitting way to honour all those who fought for our freedom while also thanking those keeping the country moving during this challenging time."

Social distancing hasn't stopped the Blitz spirit
Social distancing hasn't stopped the Blitz spirit. Picture: LBC News
A couple in Northampton celebrate VE Day on their driveway
A couple in Northampton celebrate VE Day on their driveway. Picture: LBC News
The front page of The Daily Telegraph announcing Britain's declaration of war against Germany
The front page of The Daily Telegraph announcing Britain's declaration of war against Germany. Picture: LBC News

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