VE Day: Fly the flag high as Saddleworth celebrates 75th anniversary

FLAGS flew high and the sound of ‘We’ll Meet Again’ filled the air as the community celebrated the 75th anniversary of VE Day.

It was not quite the street parties and parades that had been planned to mark the anniversary of the end of World War II in Europe.

But homes, pubs, restaurants and other businesses still pulled out all the stops – while following social distancing guidelines – to do their best on the historic occasion.

Homes and buildings were adorned with bunting, flags and other patriotic decorations while families and neighbours enjoyed stay-at-home parties.

The Lees, Springhead and Grotton (LSG) Business Hub teamed up with the Lees and District Royal British Legion to hold virtual celebrations, providing fun activities and entertainment online.

They also held a VE Day Art competition and invited children to draw or paint a picture, write a poem or create a model, with prizes in three age categories. World champion whistler Dave Morris, who lives in Dobcross, gave a rendition of the 1940s classic ‘We’ll Meet Again’, which was televised by the BBC.

And across the community, locals dressed up in the style of the era and even a few military vehicles were spotted on the streets.

The Mayor of Oldham, Cllr Ginny Alexander, posted an address on her Facebook page, thanking veterans and encouraging people to celebrate and pay their respects.

She said: “Today is the day we respect our families and Armed Forces in the past for creating peace in Europe after a horrendous war, which saw many lives lost in Britain and Europe.

“Also let’s not forget our Armed Forces who served in Asia who had to carry on fighting a few more extra months.

“This Mayoral year, I must thank you our Oldham veterans and fellow Oldhamers who have made my year so wonderful and happy with their extremely strong attitude to life.

“At this moment in time we are also watching our own loved ones survive this awful Covid-19. Let us take a leaf out of our forefathers book to keep strong, stand firm, keep well and stay safe.

“Today let’s celebrate together in our homes and pay our respects to all those that have fought, fallen and survived to make us free men and women.”

Nationally, a two minute silence was held at 11am followed by a ‘Nation’s Toast to the Heroes of WWII’ at 3pm.

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