Hang out the bunting – and celebrate VE Day at home

Bristol residents are being encouraged to hang up the bunting and celebrate the 75th Anniversary of Victory in Europe on 8 May inside their homes.

With all planned public events cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic -Bristol City Council is sharing a host of online activities and celebrations for those who want to join in this Friday.

In the run up to the day the council will offer top tips for ways communities can get involved, including how to hold a virtual street party or a picnic at home.

In Knowle West residents will be putting out the bunting, decorating their house fronts and wearing red, white and blue or 1940s dress to mark the occasion. They will also be bringing out the deckchairs to have a picnic in their front garden.

Throughout the Friday bank holiday, Bristol Museums and Bristol Libraries will share commemorative activities, and City Hall will be adorned with bunting. 

At 11am the UK will hold two minutes silence as a national moment of rememberance.

A Union Flag raising ceremony attended by Bristol City Mayor, Marvin Rees, Lord Mayor, Cllr Jos Clark and a piper who will play Battle’s O’er, will be broadcast at 3pm on council social media channels. 

This will coincide with thousands of pipers across the country paying tribute to the moment British Prime Minister Winston Churchill announced the war in Europe was over.

There will also be an online broadcast of the Lord Mayor reading A Cry for Peace Around the World at 6.55pm – with people across the globe sharing the same reading. 

Mayor Rees said: “The coronavirus pandemic will not prevent us remembering those who lost their lives 75 years ago, and celebrating that historic moment of peace.

“VE Day falls at a really appropriate time this year, as over the past weeks people in Bristol have come together to support each other as the crisis has taken hold.

“It’s been heart-warming and inspiring, and we are showing true stoicism like so many people in Britain had to during and after the war.”

The Lord Mayor said: “This is an important opportunity to reflect on those who sacrificed everything for their country and helped shape the freedom we have today.

“These may not be the celebrations we were expecting or hoping for, but we can still pull together as a nation to remember this very important date in history.” 

A programme of national activities can be found online: https://www.veday75.org/programme/

For templates and guidance to make bunting visit: bbc.co.uk/makeadifference

For other family festival packs visit Facebook: The Big Neighbourhood V.E Day 75 Family Festival at Home! https://www.facebook.com/groups/695682491244696/