Sandwiches and games mark VE Day celebrations

VE Day street party at Nettlecombe Avenue, Southsea. Charlotte Birch 5 ''Picture: Paul Jacobs (150510-6)
VE Day street party at Nettlecombe Avenue, Southsea. Charlotte Birch 5 ''Picture: Paul Jacobs (150510-6)
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THERE might be different entertainment and food but the community spirit felt 70 years ago still lives on for veteran Jim Hoit.

The 89-year-old was aged only 19 when he celebrated the first Victory in Europe Day – better known as VE Day.

VE Day street party at Empshott Road, Southsea. ''Picture: Paul Jacobs (150511-5)

VE Day street party at Empshott Road, Southsea. ''Picture: Paul Jacobs (150511-5)

It marked the official end of the Second World War and thousands of people took to the streets to hold parties to celebrate the end and remember those who lost their lives.

Mr Hoit, who served in the merchant navy between 1943 and 1945, was at a VE event at the City Life Church, in Tangier Road, Baffins.

He said: ‘When we had the celebration parties 70 years ago we were still on rations.

‘We were able to have cheese sandwiches and it was considered good if you had jam sandwiches.

VE Day party at City Life Church, Baffins.  Jim Hoit 89  Picture: Paul Jacobs (150512-1)

VE Day party at City Life Church, Baffins. Jim Hoit 89 Picture: Paul Jacobs (150512-1)

‘Today there is a lot more choice, and it goes further than sandwiches.

‘Same with the entertainment.

‘If someone had a piano then that would be wheeled out into the streets and played, while people sang along.

‘But what hasn’t changed is that feeling of unity, and we need to teach that to the generations who won’t know much about the war.

‘We must keep passing this message on.

‘So many lives were sacrificed or changed and it’s all so we could have our freedom.’

The church joined various other venues and streets to celebrate VE Day.

Nettlecombe Avenue, in Southsea, held a street party.

Entertainment included a tug of war, face painting, a bake off competition and music.

Kathryn Flynn, neighbourhood watch co-ordinator helped organise the event.

She said: ‘I organised it with Liz Birch as we thought it would be a good way to get to know our neighbours.

‘It was a really great day with a good turnout.’

Empshott Road, in Southsea, had plenty of bunting up in the street to mark VE Day.

Matt Loten, 45, organised the party with his wife Lorien.

He said: ‘We just wanted to get everyone together and keep it real informal and relaxed.

‘People brought their own food and drinks with them to have and share with each other.

‘We also had a range of games for people to get involved in.’