You can discover how the people of Brighton & Hove celebrated VE Day by visiting a fascinating new website launched by the Royal Pavilion & Museums (RPM) this week.
RPM were aiming to hold a special free day at the museum to mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day on Fri 8 May 2020 focussing on a theme of peace and friendship. The family day, cancelled because of the lockdown, would have been full of activities and talks looking back at WW2 and the day when war officially ended in Europe.
Instead the staff at RPM have put together a website with lots of photos, audio files and stories about how the people of Brighton & Hove were affected by the war. There are also some fun craft things to do with the family such as make your own land girl doll or how to create a friendship bracelet to send to someone you care for.
A highlight are audio clips of Brighton resident Tony Simmonds looking back over the war talking about air raids in Kemp Town, his father’s experience in the Home Guard and VE Night. He remembers doing a conga down from the station to the seafront on VE Night.
“On the anniversary of VE Day we are unable to gather together in the same way,” said Creative Programme curator Jody East. “The Covid-19 crisis keeps us confined to our homes, separated from friends and family and trying to work out how we will rebuild our own worlds. We can mark this 75th anniversary of VE Day by reflecting back on the past, and also by celebrating the importance of friendship and peace.”
The site includes a zoomable map showing where all the bombs landed in the area during the war and some photos of images taken by the Luftwaffe as reconnaissance photos.
Visit Royal Pavilion & Museums’ WW2 In Brighton & Hove website here: ww2.brightonmuseums.org
Image – street party in St Pauls Street, Brighton, May 1945.