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image credit: VE Day Home

From the Castle Inn with vehicles, veterans, WW2 Dress and music to the Aqua Club Lunch time VE menu and on to Bay Hotel and Bar with children singing, a bugler at 2.55 for the Last Post , from Balcony right through to the Royal Oak & Castle in Pevensey with Morris Dancers, Beacon and a Son et Lumiere projection at 9.00pm. On VE75 Weekend 8–10 May the locality will light up in homegrown celebration of the Day the guns fell silent in Europe
—Bay Life, 21 January 2020

Organisers this morning (21 January) have published a ‘matrix’ of events that will see Pevensey and Pevensey Bay light up in celebration of the Day the guns fell silent in Europe

The new Bank Holiday weekend is designated by the Government between 8-12 May this year. Winston Churchill on VE Day said “”My dear friends, this is your hour.”

When VE Day dawns on 8 May 2020 it will be 75 years since the guns fell silent at the end of the war in Europe. Years of carnage and destruction had come to an end and millions of people took to the streets and pubs to celebrate peace, mourn their loved – ones and to hope for the future.

On the new Government website, the introduction says, “The 75th anniversary will provide our nation, and our friends around the world, with an opportunity to reflect on the enormous sacrifice, courage and determination of people from all walks of life who saw us through this dark and terrifying period. To commemorate this important time we are organising VE Day 75, a three-day international celebration that will take place from 8th May to 10th May 2020.

“It will be an opportunity for us all to remember the enormous sacrifices that were made at home and abroad and to joyously celebrate as people did 75 years ago, the arrival of peace in Europe.

Friday 8 May 2020, has been designated by the Government as a Bank Holiday, with licensing hours extended to enable as many towns, parishes, district, community and other councils, along with individuals, voluntary organisations, the holiday and hospitality industry including pubs, clubs, restaurants and hotels etc, to join in the VE Day 75 celebrations.

The Government says “so we do hope that you will take part over the VE Day weekend of the 8th – 10th May 2020, providing you with the opportunity to pay your personal tribute to those millions at home and abroad who gave so much to ensure we all enjoy the freedom we share today”.

The Government adds “we are already starting to receive various activities from all over the UK and other countries around the world in this anniversary, and for example, Marion and Alistair Walker will pay their personal tribute to the community of Pembrokeshire, Wales, aboard their beautifully restored 1944 RAF Air Sea Rescue Launch over the VE Day weekend. At 2.55pm on the 8th may a local bugler will play the Last Post and Reville from the deck of their launch at the Milford Haven Pontoon on the Cleddau River.

Here in Pevensey Bay, Pevensey and the locality the homegrown response planned will a variety of events linking up to 14 venues with personal tributes, themed events and tributes to the armed forces. People here will most certainly be taking to the streets and pubs to celebrate peace, and to reflect on the enormous sacrifice, courage and determination of people from all walks of life who saw the country through this dark and terrifying period.

Talking Bay Life this morning, one of the organisers, of events in the locality, Shirley McaKinnon, told us “Time to let you have some details of the plans for 8-10 May.

“Starting to get meat on bones and we have several firmed up plans. Still more to come but it will be a packed weekend from 8-10 May. Please see attached Matrix. Those marked in red are firmed up. Others will be letting us know final plans very soon.

“A full programme of events will be pulled together for final publicity and in hard copy”.

“You can see we are looking also for veterans, etc…….a request for anyone who knows anyone who can remember WW2 and/ or VE Day would be a useful request please! Also for small stall holders for the market on 9 May.

“I am also attaching the guidelines we are working to and the poem Cry for Peace. You are going to be contacted you about a poetry competition and we are in discussion with the school about their involvement”.

Local photojournalist, Steve Malone is to document the weekend for a special VEDay75 8 page commemoration pullout that will appear in the Pevensey Bay Journal that will tell the story of the weekend in words and pictures in Pevensey and Pevensey Bay as a picture post edition.

Confirmed local events for 8 May so far include;

10:30am: Church Services including trumpeter/bugler for Last Post and Reveille 12 noon onward – parties, commemorations, lunches, dinners
Nations’ Toast to the Heroes of WW2 (exact time Churchill announced end of WW2)
7.00pm A Cry for Peace around the World Poetry reading should be accompanied by Church bells;
7:00pm Ringing Out for Peace (Church Bells)

Confirmed local events for 8 -10 May so far include;

Aqua Club Lunch time VE menu and singing with Bob Mummery from 1pm. VE quiz at 2.30, Ric Bonner singing wartime  songs from 8pm
Castle Inn
Raise glasses. Vehicles, veterans, WW2 Dress, music
Bay Hotel Raise glasses. Children singing Bugler at 2.55 for the Last Post , from Balcony Philipa Coughlan poetry readings and enactments and VE dinner. Cry for Peace at 7pm.  Voices Choir or singer
Ocean View Bakery 4pm Cream Tea and Singalong
St Wilfrid’s Church and Hall Bells ringing PCS Tea party- Church blessing  Bells ringing Church service 9.15am. Roll of Honour
Pevensey Bay Baptist Church to be arranged
Pevensey Bay Library Themed display with 1940s music, photo booth with props. Tea party
Royal Oak & Castle Raise glasses From 6pm Guitarist playing “Battles Over” Drummers, Morris Dancers, Beacon, Son et Lumiere projection 9.00pm. On Market Square and from PH, VE menu
Priory Court Hotel Raise glasses Walks and Talks. Programme in planning stage
Smugglers Raise glasses Camp show 2-4pm
The Heron Raise glasses
Pevensey Castle Open with displays about WW2. Possibly WW2 vehicles in grounds over weekend
St. Nicolas Church Service – Last Post and Reveille ( Army or Sea Cadets, etc?) Roll of Honour. Bells ringing “Town Crier” Cry for Peace ( venue and person to be identified- could be a pub or in village) Bells ringing. Church service 11am
Pevensey Town Trust Gaol/Courthouse/Market Square Unveiling of WW1 plaque on Market Square- after Church service Open with displays about WW2 until 4pm Walks and talks Market on square 10-4pm. Court House open 11-4pm Open with displays about WW2 11-4pm
Pevensey In Bloom Tree to be planted with small ceremony (details to be decided)
PPC Planters Commemorative planting
Sports Clubs 1945 style Cricket match
The Moorings Raise glasses
PVP Scarecrow competition (SC) to run throughout in villages with VE and WW2
Castle Cottage Tea Room WW2 luncheon and singing in planning stage

Planning notes
Priory Court Hotel and Castle Tea Rooms will advise what they will each do shortly
Pevensey Bay Baptist Church will advise what they will do shortly
All eating establishments to note that PevFeast (Pevensey Food and Drink Festival) will run from 8 May 20 to 7 June 20 and will be advertised