Friday 8 May marks 75 years since Victory in Europe Day, or VE Day as it’s better known. The Second World War was finally over as the (slightly modified) act of military surrender was signed on 8 May 1945 in Berlin.
As many others, there had been plans to commemorate this day with street parties, talks and activities in our libraries. But, what better way to remember all those who fought for our freedom, then by showing restraint and do our part in keeping our country safe – and stay home.
It’s a strange time, and whilst it’s not the time to celebrate with neighbours, family and friends, it’s a good time to read about the past, or share stories of why we celebrate VE Day.
Through RBdigital, our eMagazine provider, you can find this month’s issue of BBC History Magazine, which includes a VE Day special! It explores the moment of victory, told through the voices of soldiers and civilians who experienced it.
We’ve also put together a collection of amazing book titles, both fictional and non-fictional, about WWII, that you can download and read and/or listen to through the BorrowBox app – our eBook provider. Featuring such titles as Hampshire at War 1939–45, The Tattooist of Auschwitz, Paris Echo, VE Day, Why Britain is at War, The Message Bird, Hitler’s Secret and The Boy in Striped Pyjamas. You can find these, and many more, in the VE Day collection in the BorrowBox app.
Unsure how to download the app? Check out this blog!
Even with our libraries closed, we’ll still be having celebrations happening – just virtually instead of in person. So check out what’s happening at different libraries – and the best part/ It’s online, so even if it’s not your local library you can still tune in!
Over on Facebook Alton library will be celebrating VE day with have a special film review of A Royal Night Out. As well as a general piece about VE Day; what it means and how it was celebrated in Alton, including a recipe for potato scones to wear for your VE Day Virtual Tea Party’ fashion feature!
There will also be a virtual tea party, where everyone is encouraged to share pictures of our tea parties – so head over to their Facebook page to join in this Friday.
Join the staff at Aldershot Library over on their Facebook page as they do a special VE day decoration craft and share printable colouring in sheets.
For adults there will be war poetry recordings, local history link, book readings and book reviews.
Why not share your VE day tea party with them?
Leading up to Friday, you will be able to find some great VE day decoration ideas as well as ideas for creating a ‘stay at home tea-party’.
On the day, you will be able to find some lovely photos of staff’s own decorations, World War Two poetry and book reviews.
Leading up to VE Day, you will find some amazing colouring sheets available to download, all made by a member of staff. Staff will also be taking part in the #GreatBritishBuntingShare – so keep an eye out for different ways of making your own bunting!
On the day, there will be a special guest over one their Facebook page, who will talk about her real-life account of VE Day. If you have any stories to share about VE Day, personal or passed down to you, you’re welcome to share them.
For the younger audience, there will be a special reading from Goodnight Mr Tom, available as both eBook and eAudiobook through the BorrowBox app.
Join the staff of Gosport Discovery Centre over on their Facebook page for some wartime bake off, decorating, bunting making, VE Day stories and a special VE Day craft – ‘How to make a glider’.
Don’t miss the fun!
Leading up to the day, you will be able to find instructions on how to make bunting as well as how to make your windows colourful.
As well as a special VE Day hat craft and a ‘Write a coded message’ activity. Head over to their Facebook page to not miss out on the fun!
Leading up to the day you will be able to find some wonderful craft videos on their Facebook Page, on how to make bunting as well as how to make your own medals.
On the day, at 3pm, there will be a special message from all the staff; so tune in!
On Friday 8 May, Hampshire Archives will be live streaming This is Your Victory on their Facebook page from 11.30am to 12.30pm.
They will also be live streaming Working in the Shadows on their Facebook page – time to be confirmed, so check their events on the day.
And of course we will be sharing as many of these wonderful events, activities and videos over on the Hampshire Libraries Facebook page.
It may not be the VE Day celebration you expected, but with these wonderful books and range of crafts and ideas, we’re sure to all be celebrating together, despite being apart.