Celebrations for the 75th anniversary of VE day have been radically altered die to the restrictions imposed as a result of the Covid-19 epidemic.
The Lord Lieutenant of Rutland has recorded the following message to celebrate this event:
I hope you all continue in good health and have avoided Covid. I have to say I am deeply impressed by the amount of community spirit being shown across Rutland. Neighbourliness has been the order of the day and systems have sprung up in every village and hamlet from the grass roots as it were to meet local needs. There has been, appropriately, a Blitz spirit and people have been extraordinary in ensuring that they obey the new rules. I think the whole of Rutland deserves congratulations. Please will you all keep a note of the names of anyone doing good things in your area and note what they are doing. We still have a long way to go, but when this pandemic is as over as it can be, I think there must be an event or badge or something to give recognition for altruism. It will certainly be difficult to decide upon names for BP garden parties – there will be so many to put forward.
As you know our well laid plans for the 75th anniversary of VE day have been altered thanks to the pandemic. However, there will still be opportunity to pay tribute to the millions who served in WW2 and won the freedoms that we normally enjoy. There will also be a chance for some fun.
Prior to Friday May 8th 2020, VE Day itself, there is a competition for the best dressed window. There are two categories ‘most colourful’ and ‘most patriotic’. I am providing a prize, as is Helen Briggs and we plus Richard Cole (High Sheriff of Rutland) and Rob Persani (Rutland Radio) will judge the winners. The idea is to engage the whole community and provide some entertainment. Details can be found at rutlandradio.co.uk/events/photos.
The Museum is doing a virtual exhibition of what life was like in Rutland during WW2. Oakham Castle has created a series of tributes and stories from WW2 as well as a video of the Home Guard.
I have (and will continue to post about VE day on Twitter, Instagram and on Facebook.
On FRIDAY May 8th 75th Anniversary of VE Day:
there will be a 2 minute silence held in our own homes at 11am.
I have made a video of a tribute that I will release on the day and will also be used in the virtual church service on Sunday May 10th
At 3pm I will raise a toast and I hope you will all join me in doing so whilst remaining socially distant in your doorways or gardens. I will be playing the National Anthem and then I will (remaining socially distant) lead Whissendine in some flag waving and cheering. Please take photos and send them to me electronically of any of your celebrations and I will put them on the Lieutenancy website. It would be lovely to record all that you are doing in your villages/town.
At 9pm on BBC1 Her Majesty The Queen will pay tribute.
On Sunday May 10th 10.30am:
There will be a virtual church service to focus thoughts upon the sacrifices made for our freedoms. www.oakhamteam.org.uk
I am as disappointed as I know many of you are that the wonderful 75th anniversary plans for a toast in Uppingham, a service and a big party in the park at Cutts Close cannot take place. However, please be assured and assure others that the 75th anniversary will still mean we pay our tributes and give respect to all those who suffered and served.
Hopefully in 2021 we will be able to have big events again and can mark VE day with more pazzazz!
Till we meet again! Stay safe!