22 April 2020
For Immediate Release
Get ready to celebrate virtual VE Day 75
Despite the announcement that all the national VE Day celebrations would be delayed until VJ Day in August, plans are underway in West Norfolk to enable people to celebrate the anniversary of Victory in Europe safely in their own homes on 8 May 2020. A programme of activities is being put together, adjusting those that would have taken place in the Town Hall and around the town centre, so that people can still enjoy them, without leaving their homes. Cllr Elizabeth Nockolds, Borough Council of King's Lynn & West Norfolk Cabinet Member, said: "As we are thanking our key workers at this present difficult period, it is important for us to remember also our heroes from the past who gave their lives for our country. "Although we must stay at home and stay safe we can still celebrate this momentous anniversary by taking part in the suggested activities which will help to make it a special day to remember." Full details will be published in the press, on social media, and on the Stories of Lynn website on Friday, 1st May, providing an 8-day countdown to the big day. Already lined up are 1940's dance classes for adults and children, an ARP Warden plane spotting quiz, making table decorations from recycled materials in a make-do-and-mend way, creating bunting and paper hats ready for house or garden parties, preparing food, and hearing the experiences from someone who remembers the day. There will also be a gallery of archive photos and a talk from True's Yard. People will be encouraged to join the national 3pm toast. The whole day will finish with an online disco, leading up to the nation singing 'We'll meet again' at 9pm along with the BBC Broadcast. Ahead of the celebrations, Cllr Geoff Hipperson, the Mayor of the Borough of King's Lynn & West Norfolk, is asking people to get involved in two early activities. The first is to invite the Mayor to attend your celebration. Fill in the online form to request a visit, and he will join you virtually via Facetime or Whatsapp Video. He is hoping to fit in around 20 visits, time allowing, including visiting staff and patients at the QE Hospital at 3pm when the whole country will be toasting our heroes past and present. The second element is to vote for one of four 1940's recipes, so that our 1940's cook Kathy Hipperson can bake the winning recipe. A video of the winning choice being made will be posted on the Stories of Lynn website along with the recipe and other 1940's recipes so that people can try to replicate a 1940's tea party if they want to. The idea for this event has come from Rachael Williams the Learning and Engagement Officer at Stories of Lynn and Maj (Ret’d) Gary Walker, Secretary of the King's Lynn & District RAFA, in association with the Mayor's office, the Borough Council of King's Lynn & West Norfolk, True's Yard and Norfolk Museum's Service. Maj (Ret’d) Gary Walker MBE TD VR, Secretary of King's Lynn District RAFA, said: "As Secretary of the local Branch of the Royal Air Forces Association, I was keen that we both commemorate and celebrate the 75th anniversary of VE Day and so spoke to the borough’s Civics Officer last year to discuss and prepare a plan for the borough for VE Day, which would allow everyone to participate. With the help of Rachael Williams, Learning and Engagement Officer at Stories of Lynn, we produced a comprehensive day of events, all of which have now sadly had to be shelved. However, the people in 1945 had faced far greater challenges and came through them. We were not going to be dismayed by the current lock-down and have produced a package of ‘virtual’ VE Day events for all to take part in. I hope everyone will take the time to learn more about the importance of this day and to enjoy the opportunity to both remember and celebrate our heroes of yesteryear." Next week, a ration book will be included in Your Local Paper and the Lynn News along with templates to copy or colour in to put Union Jack flags in windows across the borough and bunting in living rooms. The ration book contains a series of challenges in addition to the 8-day countdown of activities. People will be invited to send in photos and the Mayor will pick one entry to be invited to the Mayor's Parlour for tea and a tour of the Town Hall, when it is safe to do so. To book the Mayor for your party, simply go to west-norfolk.gov.uk, search 'Invite the Mayor', then complete the online form, with details of your party, your contact phone number and whether you have Whatsapp or Facetime. You can also suggest your preferred time, although timings cannot be guaranteed. To vote for your favourite recipe, visit storiesoflynn.co.uk/VEDay75 and make your vote by noon on 1 May 2020. Follow government advice to stay home, protect the NHS and save lives. Stay at home - Only go outside for food, health reasons or work (but only if you cannot work from home) - If you go out, stay 2 metres (6ft) away from other people at all times - Wash your hands as soon as you get home - Do not meet others, even friends or family. You can spread the virus even if you don’t have symptoms.