Fareham and Farlington residents celebrate VE Day while remembering the sacrifices of past generations
NOT to be beaten by lockdown, residents on a Fareham street have been hosting a VE Day anniversary celebration while still practising social distancing.
Unable to meet as a group, neighbours set up a Facebook page where they planned a whole day of events to mark the landmark occasion. Residents were able to enjoy picnics in their gardens while also taking part in a street quiz and bingo.
Ashley Billinghurst, 32, who helped to decorate houses in Union Jack flags and bunting, said: ‘I think it’s very important for us to remember the sacrifices made by past generations which brought about VE Day.’
Fellow resident, Emma Tonge, added: ‘I think this celebration is just what we needed. I work in a nursing home and this is my first day off in seven weeks. I would like to thank all the men and women who lost their lives during the conflict so that we can enjoy the lives we have today.’
For Ashley, the event is even more significant with what people are currently experiencing as a result of the coronavirus lockdown.
‘With the current lockdown situation, VE Day just feels more important to people. It gives us a little glimpse into the sacrifices the war generation made and the importance of the nation pulling together,’ she said.
It’s a sentiment shared with residents on Woodfield Avenue in Farlington where neighbours had also come out into their front gardens to celebrate.
Petula Munro, 44, commented: ‘It’s not the same but there are some parallels. The fact we are all in this together as a nation is similar to wartime. There was also rationing during the war and it is obviously currently difficult to get certain foods in the shops.’
As well as picnics on front lawns, residents enjoyed music spanning the generations, including a performance of wartime classics from singer, Megan Brand.
Resident, Tina Hinchcliffe, 48, commented: ‘Today has been a day to forget the pandemic and financial impact and to celebrate one another as a community. It’s been a wonderful day.’
The events continued after sunset with a spotlight display as residents shone torches into the night sky.
Petula said: ‘This is to signify the fact that during the air raids, as people made their way to shelters, torches were their only light. It is vital we remember this generation who fought for the freedom we have today.’