Veterans and their families from across West Berkshire are invited to celebrate the 70th anniversary of VE Day today.
Following nearly six years of war with Nazi Germany, the Allies accepted the country's unconditional surrender in Reims on May 7 and in Berlin on May 8. The day, marked as Victory in Europe Day, officially ended the Second World War in Europe.
People across the world celebrated the Nazi capitulation. In Britain, people threw street parties and gathered in Trafalgar Square and The Mall, where King George VI, Queen Elizabeth and the Prime Minister Winston Churchill appeared before the crowds on the balcony at Buckingham Palace.
The Newbury Weekly News reported that the streets of the town were gaily decorated with flags and were crowded with shoppers buying provisions for the two-day public holiday.
People gathered in the Market Place for the town service of thanksgiving, and the square was later crowded with revellers who sang and danced into the small hours. Commonwealth and US servicemen, along with young women, also celebrated with a dance in the Corn Exchange.
The mayor of Newbury, Jo Day, is inviting families and veterans to celebrate the 70th anniversary with a picnic around the bandstand in Victoria Park from noon until 3pm. Music and entertainment with a 1940s theme will be played and there will be traditional games and rides aimed at re-creating the atmosphere from 70 years ago.
Mrs Day said: “This is a community event, suitable for all ages, and I look forward to seeing a number of family groups and veterans bringing their picnic rugs and enjoying the atmosphere and fun of this celebration.”
The Newbury Rotary Club will set off on their annual charity from the Victory Room, Bucklebury. The event starts between 11am and 12.30pm with a choice of routes available. The suggested donation is £1 for entry.
The Burghfield May Fayre returns to the village today.
The annual community event, staged by the Burghfield Residents’ Association, provides a day out to bring together the people of Burghfield and surrounding villages, and raises funds for local charities, projects and good causes.
Following last year’s event, around £3,000 was distributed, in addition to the monies raised directly by local charities at the event.
This year’s event will feature nearly 50 stalls and events, including a funfair, arena displays by local schools and groups, a circus workshop, a fun dog show, ferret racing, bucking bronco and stalls.
The residents association said as local parking is limited, it would be running a free bus service between Burghfield, the May Fayre and the free car parking sites.
The May Fayre will be held at the Hatch, Burghfield, from 10.30am until 4pm.
Newbury and District Ornithological Club will lead a bird walk at Crookham Common, Bury's Bank Road from 8.30am until 11am.
And the West Berkshire Ramblers will be setting off on a weekend walk again today.
Meet at Lambourn High Street car park at 10.30am for a 3.9 mile walk to see the bluebells at Bury's Wood and Gifford's Copse.