The 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe Day, which marks the end of the Second World War in Europe, had a full programme of extensive activity planned months in advance. The onset of the coronavirus pandemic, however, meant that most of this was cancelled, to avoid putting people in danger. The Kirklees community nonetheless came together to celebrate peace between nations and give thanks for the sacrifices of Britain's key workers in the fight against coronavirus. These webpages were made to help residents participate in the celebrations safely.
It's important that we all continue to follow social distancing guidance to save lives and protect the NHS, but that doesn't mean we can't enjoy our VE Day celebrations. Many communities are organising their own 'Stay at Home Street Party' where neighbours will sit in their gardens or on their doorstep and celebrate with each other.
Decorate your home red, white and blue, and have a picnic in your front garden.
If you are planning to do this on your street, please continue follow government guidance on social distancing. Keep a distance of at least 2 metres between you and anyone outside your household to keep you and your neighbours safe.
If you cannot safely participate in a street party then you can celebrate by decorating your windows and doors with bunting or anything else you fancy. There are lots of other ways to celebrate too, have a look at our ideas for you below!
Have a digital party
Video call friends and family so you can all be together to celebrate. You might not be together physically but you can still play party games or quizzes - you could even have a themed party with 1940s music and costumes!
For younger people, this is an opportunity to speak to their friends and play games, Newsround has some tips for keeping safe online while video calling
Front garden party
Get some chairs or blankets out on your front garden and celebrate with neighbours. Just make sure you are keeping at least 2 metres away from others following government social distancing guidance.
Decorate your garden, fence or balcony with bunting to let others know you are celebrating.
Get the celebrations going by downloading some wartime classics and sing along to with Vera Lynn or boogie-woogie with Glenn Miller.
Don't forget your neighbours and keep the noise to acceptable levels unless they're joining in... at a safe distance of course!
Re-create a VE Day tea party
What would a tea party in the 1940s have looked like? Well there would have been lots of sandwiches with fillings to suit everyone - Luckily for us people mainly used tinned foods such as tinned salmon with cucumber, corned beef and piccalilli or cheese and beetroot.
If sandwiches aren't your thing then they would have had plenty of the snacks that we enjoy today like sausage rolls, scotch eggs, cheese straws, jelly and Ice cream (but made from tinned evaporated milk) and Celebration trifle.
As you can see, wartime was not a great time to be a vegetarian but we would love to see your modern day vegan and vegetarian twists on these 1940s classics!
For drinks, everyone would have enjoyed lemon and orange squash or barley water, and beer, cider or tea for adults.
In the spirit of rationing you try to create something amazing from all those bits and pieces and leftovers lurking in the fridge.
Carrot Cookies (Marguerite Patten's Victory Cookbook)
- 1 tablespoon margarine (plunge the spoon into boiling water to make it hot before cutting into the margarine.
- 2 tablespoons sugar plus a little extra to sprinkle on the tops
- A few drops of vanilla, almond or orange essence
- 4 tablespoons of grated raw carrot
- 6 tablespoons self-raising flour or plain flour and ½ teaspoon baking powder
- Cream the margarine and the sugar together until it is light and fluffy.
- Mix in the flavouring and the grated carrots.
- Fold in the flour, or flour and baking powder
- Grease a bun tin and drop spoonfuls of the mixture into each section.
- Sprinkle the tops with sugar
- Bake at 180C or Gas Mark 4 for 20 minutes.
Chocolate squares (from a leaflet by Cadbury's which sold for 1d. to raise funds for the Red Cross)
- 3oz Margarine
- 2 tablespoons golden syrup
- 8 oz rolled oats
- Pinch of salt
- Bar of Cadbury's chocolate grated
- Melt the margarine and syrup together in a saucepan, mix in the oats and salt. Stir together until all the oats are coated.
- Press into a well greased.shallow baking tray or tray lined with baking parchment
- Bake for 20-25 minutes at Gas Mark 4, or 180C (350F)
- As soon as it is removed from the oven sprinkle liberally with the grated chocolate which will melt and form a topping.
Eggless chocolate buns (from Marguerite Patten's Victory Cookbook)
- 8 oz (225g) Self raising flour or plain flour sifted with 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 oz (25g) cocoa powder
- 3 oz (75g) sugar
- 7 ½ (225 ml) hot water
- 1 tablespoon golden syrup
- 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- Few drops of vanilla essence
- 3 oz (75g) margarine melted
- Preheat the oven to 180C (350F) or Gas mark 4
- Prepare a bun tin - either by greasing it or lining with paper cases.
- Sift the dry ingredients together in a bowl - flour, cocoa and sugar.
- Pour the hot water into a measuring jug, add the syrup and the bicarbonate of soda - it will froth and bubble.
- Add this mixture to the dry ingredients along with the melted margarine and vanilla essence.
- Quickly spoon the mixture into the bun tin and put straight into the oven.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes until firm to the touch. Leave to cool. They can be iced for a special occasion.
Evaporated milk ice-cream
Wartime ice cream was often made from tinned evaporated milk you can try this at home if you have a freezing compartment.
- Large tin of evaporated milk (12oz)
- 1 cup of caster sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla essence
- Chill the tin for several hours to make it really cold.
- Whisk together with the sugar and the vanilla essence until it has doubled in size.
- Put the mixture in the freezer for 1 hour, then whisk again. Repeat the whisking and freezing processing twice more, and then freeze until ready to eat.
- Don't forget to make some jelly too!
Is it even really a party without decorations? Bunting is perfect for VE Day, especially if it's red white and blue! But it can be made out of any scrap fabric or paper you have to add a flair of sophistication to your fence posts - WikiHow shows you four ways to make bunting
You could even create some VE Day inspired art. You could use paints, pencils, fabrics or even paper craft! Your VE Day 75 gallery
Why not make an edible centrepiece for your tea party with a Fruity Flag Traybake , they are easy to make and are covered in fresh fruit, so must include one of your five a day! This a great one to do with the kids or on your own, either way let us know how you get on.
- Celebrate with Holmfirth's Women's Institute
We're collecting all your family memories, images, videos, photos as you prepare for the day. You can log in and upload your own or send them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can share them for you.
What is happening on 8 May
3pm: National Toast
Raise a glass with us and toast the heroes of the Second World War 'To those who gave so much, we thank you'
5pm: Doorstep tea parties
Have a 1940s style tea party from the safety of your own doorstep or garden
9pm: Sing-along to 'We'll Meet Again'
Join us on your doorsteps as we provide a mass rendition of the wartime classic
9pm - 11pm: Light up Kirklees
Watch the live coverage as Victoria Tower is illuminated red, white and blue with wartime-like searchlights. Live stream from Castle Hill from 9pm starting with the singing of 'We'll Meet Again' by local singer. Batley, Dewsbury, Cleckheaton and Huddersfield Town Halls will also be lit up as a mark of respect.