A shared moment of celebration

Friday 8 May is the 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe (VE) Day, the day when an official end to nearly six years of war in Europe was celebrated. The country experienced a surge of relief and euphoria – tempered, of course, with grief for those who would never return. Spontaneous parties broke out around the country with dancing in the streets, pubs open late (the government had checked there were sufficient beer stocks before declaring the date an official public holiday!) and appearances from the Royal Family and Winston Churchill on the balcony of Buckingham Palace.

We can’t commemorate this momentous anniversary as we’d like, but that’s no reason to let the occasion pass unmarked. With social distancing measures still in place there are still lots of ways we can celebrate together, apart.

Stay at home and celebrate

  • #stayathomesavelives by organising your own celebration in your home or garden. There’s a handy guide to planning your party here
  • When you’ve decorated your home with bunting, share your pictures on the Enjoy St Albans Facebook page and you could win a St Albans gift card – more details further down the page. Some streets are already organising front-garden parties – a good way of celebrating while remaining socially distant! Why not post some pictures of your street’s party?
  • Share your Second World War stories, family histories and messages of remembrance on social media using #VEDay75.
  • Join in the toast at 3pm – see further down the page. Raise a glass, a cup or just your voice in celebration and thanks for the sacrifice of so many.
  • Her Majesty the Queen will address the nation at 9pm on Friday 8 May, and immediately afterwards, there will be a national singalong of Dame Vera Lynn’s ‘We’ll Meet Again’. The public will be encouraged to open their doors and join in with this national moment of celebration
  • Shop locally and support St Albans’ independent retailers and hospitality venues. You can order your vintage clothes and accessories and get a cream tea delivered right to your door
  • Try your hand at Radio Verulam’s Great British Quiz, or sing along with vintage harmony singing group The Femmes, courtesy of the Bedford to St Albans Community Rail Partnership and Thameslink

Message from the Mayor

Marking VE Day’s 75th anniversary has been made exceptionally challenging by the Covid-19 emergency with people isolating at home, maintaining social distance and avoiding large gatherings.

I am hoping, though, that our residents can come together by joining me in a toast at 3pm on Friday 8 May to commemorate this turning point in our history.

This will be our way of saluting those generations who made so many sacrifices during World War Two and had their lives changed for ever.

We will always be in their debt and should never forget those who lost their lives or suffered terrible injury while protecting the freedoms we enjoy today.

I’m asking for residents throughout our District to stand up and toast those heroes on VE Day 75, thanking them for all they did for us. Please join me at 3pm on Friday 8th May in saying:

“To those who gave so much, we thank you”

Mayor of St Albans City and District, Councillor Janet Smith

Did You Know

St Albans District Council names streets after fallen service personnel. We ask people to think about the names of fallen service personnel, from the St Albans district and offer their families a chance to have a street, road or building named after their loved ones, if that is their wish.

While you're here...

The Mayor’s Pride Awards take place every March, with the aim of recognising organisations and individuals who go above and beyond to help others in the community. You can nominate somebody at any time, using our easy online form. You’ll have to select a category and write a few words about why you think they deserve to be rewarded. Watch this space for how to nominate.