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Memories of VE-Day Victory in Europe 8 May 1945

     8th May 2020 marked the 75th Anniversary of the ending of the war in Europe and was to be marked nationally in many ways.
  Regretably the current situation meant that most of these events (including our local one) could not be held.
  Many families will have members who endured the war and this is a time to appreciate what their efforts have meant to this current generation.
  It is also an opportunity for those who have memories of VE-Day to share their joys (and sorrows) with others.

  So this article is an attempt to record, show and publicise memories of that time from those who have or had associations with Normanby - wherever you were at that time.
  It is a work-in-progress - dependent on contributions from our members and from readers of this website - so please help.

  It would be wonderful to be able to share any stories and photos you have -
- so please Contact  us (with Subject as VE-Day Memories)
with your stories and offers of photos .

[Click on any of the small images below to show a larger display]

Memories from Joan Baines nee Marshall (born October 1937) - 11 May 2020  

   I was born in West Street, Normanby in 1937 and was 7 when the war ended -
         - so I can remember a little of some events around VE-Day.

   A tea party was set up down the middle of the street (either West St or Mason St).   We were seated at long trestle tables loaded with sandwiches and cakes and with a large tea-urn at the end.
   At some point I remember sitting cross-legged on the floor in the school hall during some entertainment put on by local people.
There was a cobbler’s shop called ’Lords’ at the corner of West St and Mason St.   The owner Mr Bill Lord and another man put on a comedy act and I had fits of giggles every time the other man responded to some story with "Good Lord !"
   Like many others my family clustered round the wireless at 9 o'clock for the King's speech to the nation.
   Then there was a bonfire in middle of West St (or was it Mason St?)

   One evening some time after VE-Day many of us kids in West St joined hands and danced in a ring round the lamp-posts when the lights came back on after 6 long years of darkness with the black-out.

   My family was lucky that they lost no-one in the war:
      my dad Jack worked at the Normanby Brick-Works and was a fire-watcher (with an arm-band for his uniform);
      uncle Alf was also at the Brick-Works and in the home-guard;
      uncle Tom was an engineer at Smith’s Docks and an air-raid warden ("Put out that light !");
      uncle Frank was an engineer in the Merchant Navy plying the Indian Ocean.

Normanby School Air-raid Shelter Photo - Click On This for Larger Image (Opens in New Window)

Memories from John Coverdale (born January 1936) - 3 May 2020  

   My memories of VE-Day are only too well remembered !
   We all knew that the Nazis were beaten and we were waiting for the official declaration to be made.

   I was 9 years old, and often rode my bike to Normanby Corner to meet my pals from the Junior school - but on this occasion nobody turned up.   So I called in at Botterill’s fish and chip shop for a ha’pth of chips.
   There were a fair number of people crowded inside and as I squeezed in Mr. Botterill called for silence and then rushed up the stairs to turn the wireless on.
   That was IT !   The announcer told us that the war was over !
   Shrieking, crying, weeping, cheering, hugging!   Emotion as never seen before or probably since and lasted it seemed for ever !

   This outcome was anticipated, and with my pals Barry Andrews, Mike Keenan and Geoff Fawcett an enormous bonfire had been built in the pasture at the junction of Skipper’s Lane and Westfield Road.
   The morning of the official celebration day dawned damp and with nothing better to do I attempted to swing, like Tarzan, from tree to tree the length of the wood.   The trees being Sycamore had a covering of orange moss on them.   All went well until I reached the "Holme Tree" the last in the line.   Dropping from a height, my hands slipped on the mossy branch and after a somersault I plunged head first down over.   Instinctively I put my hands out and on hitting the ground broke both wrists!
   With two plastered arms, courtesy of North Ormesby Hospital, I never saw the bonfire on which I had laboured for a couple of weeks !   Ah well !

[The item below is an example to illustrate what we can show on our website.
But please do your own thing and send us your own tale !
Photos are a bonus because they are rare !]

Memories & Mementos from Mike Wheatley (born December 1942) - 1 May 2020  

   I was born Christmas 1942 in Essex so was too young to remember the war and its ending in May 1945 - though I heard stories and saw several family photos so many times that I feel I actually do have memories of being there!
   For most of the later war years my mother and I were living with her parents at their semi in 188 Hampton Road, Chingford (north London) whilst my father was away serving in the RAF on radar stations.   So when the war ended in Europe my father was still on duty in Scotland.
   We apparently spent many nights in an Anderson air-raid shelter in the back garden - though fortunately not many bombs fell near us.   But I can remember a few years later seeing a gap in a row of semis only a few streets away where a bomb had fallen and destroyed two homes.

V-E Day Memories - Hampton Rd, Chingford

   To celebrate VE-Day street-parties were quickly organised and set up all over the country.   This one depicted here was outside my grandparents home in Chingford.
   Where am I in this photo?
         I don’t know - probably at the far end of the table in the crowd !
   The larders must have been emptied and valuable rations used up to provide the festive fare on the table?
   As can be seen this party was specially for the children and the majority of the adults keeping an eye on them are the mothers.   Presumably most fathers were still away serving in the forces.

V-E Day Memories - Mike Wheatley in Fancy-Dress

   The children at the street-party were encouraged to come in fancy-dress -
not easy to make with little material available due to rationing!
   I was draped in a Union Flag and covered with packets of seeds, carried a fork and held a basket of vegetables - so as to represent "Dig for Victory !"

   I believe that the home-made wooden steam-engine next to me was a prize.

Message Card from Members of 2nd Tactical Air Force Message Card from Members of 2nd Tactical Air Force

     The images shown here are of a card sent from my uncle Bob Wheeler (serving somewhere in Europe with the 2nd TAF) to Edith and Bob (his in-laws) and their son Michael (me).
   I’m not sure which nations are represented by some of the flags and emblems - are you?

     My link with Normanby began when I met Brenda Marshall (a Normanby girl now my wife) at a quite different party in Normanby - one to celebrate a 21st Birthday - some 20 years after VE-Day.

[Click on any of the small images in the articles above to show a larger display]

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