Throughout VE Day we are sharing in the memories of those who remember when Victory in Europe was announced on 8th May 1945.
Our wonderful retired verger John Lazenby remembers VE day as a boy aged 8:
'I can’t remember a lot about it other than there was a huge bonfire (15 -20 ft high) on the ground between the Methodist Chapel and the road. People came out with all sorts of rubbish which they hadn’t been able to burn on bonfires in the war. The bonfire was part Celebration, and part getting rid of rubbish! It gave out so much heat it blistered the paint on the doors of houses nearby!' Freda Bendelow was a 15 years old lass and remembers:
'There were trellis tables laid out with food on Little Green at St James Green. Egg sandwiches, fairy cakes, that sort of thing. We bought things from the corner shop, Mr Brown’s, who sold just about everything. In those days there was a shop on just about every street corner between the Green and Long Street. Some ladies had made jellies, and I remember the sun coming out and they just melted into a pool on the plate.'
A 21 year old Margaret Joseph, regular at St Marys, remembers VE day as follows:
'I was working in my first teaching post in Leeds at the time. The day before VE day news of it was coming through, and so each child painted a Union Jack which we put on string across the classroom. That evening (7 May) I went out with my friend to the pictures. We were celebrating VE Day and her 21st birthday, both on 8 May. The cinema was known locally as ‘the Bug Hutch’! On VE Day itself we all had the day off. I was living in digs about 4 miles from Leeds town centre. My friend who I shared digs with was still waiting for her husband to come home from the Army, so for a lot of people it was still a very tense time. We had more celebrations on VJ Day (2 September 1945) which happened to be my 21st birthday too.'
Thank you to all Thirsk + Sowerby people who served and supported the community at that time. We pray for continued peace in our times too.