People in Keswick and the surrounding villages marked the 75th anniversary of VE Day on Friday with street parties while adhering to the social distancing restrictions amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
They joined the millions of people across the country who fell silent at 11 a.m. (BST) on Friday to remember those who served in World War Two.
Friday 8th May marked 75 years since the formal acceptance by Britain and its allies of Nazi Germany’s unconditional surrender, and Keswick certainly celebrated the landmark anniversary in style.
Katie Pepper made a special afternoon tea for everyone who lives on The Headlands in Keswick with quiche Lorraine, cheese scones, sandwiches, a range of cakes and biscuits and even Rocky Road traybake and banoffee pie.
Fiona Rigg posted on Facebook: “VE Day on The Headlands, when one of your best friend’s daughters has baked her way through lockdown and provides the BEST afternoon tea ever.”
Meanwhile, Val Loan and her staff at the Millfield care home in Penrith Road dressed up in World War 2 style outfits with Liza Donoghue leading the entertainment – including a glass of sherry – and singalong for residents during their VE Day party. Members of staff also filmed a special video called VE Day Millfield to mark the anniversary, which was put together by Joe Fulton.
Round the corner from the care home, Claire Bell had organised a street party for her neighbours in Millfield Gardens. Along with others in the estate, Claire had dressed up , fittingly, in Second World War army uniform to lead the 1940s music and community singing.
People living in the Bassenthwaite area marked the anniversary from 4.30p.m. either in their gardens or via the live stream on the village Facebook page with a two-hour prize Bingo bonanza compered from the village green by Gordie Oliver, of the local community response group, dressed in full tuxedo and a cap. The event started with a everyone singing the national anthem and closed with a rendition of Vera Lynn’s We’ll Meet Again.
It was left to the Queen to bring VE Day 75 to a close with a poignant address to the nation at 9 p.m., when she praised Britain’s response to the coronavirus epidemic, saying “The UK’s streets are not empty as they are filled with love.”
During the broadcast, which aired exactly 75 years on from her father King George VI’s address at the end of World War 2 in Europe, she said: “Today it may seem hard that we cannot mark this special anniversary as we would wish. Instead we remember from our homes and from our doorsteps.”
The Queen, 94, also thanked the wartime generation, saying: “We are still a nation those brave soldiers, sailors and airmen would recognise and admire. They risked all so our families and neighbourhoods could be safe. We should and will remember them.”