University colours up for VE Day in lock down

Edge Hill University is preparing for a colourful toast to mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day on Friday

Wednesday, 6th May 2020, 12:30 pm
Edge Hill University will be lit up in the colours of the union flag to mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day

The main building on the Ormskirk campus will be lit up in the Union flag colours of red, white and blue, and students, staff and alumni are being asked to join a virtual Nation’s Toast to the heroes of the second world war at 3pm.

It is all part of the institution's remote festivities.

Although the coronavirus pandemic had forced the cancellation of traditional street parties, the Edge Hill

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community is being encouraged to share their pride and honour the men and women of WW2 in creative ways.

Staff and students have been busy making their own special ‘Great British Bunting’ to display in their windows at home.

And they have also been recording their lives by keeping diaries, just like people did during the war, and to recreate some of the famous historical images associated with the war , while observing social distancing.

Senior lecturer in history Roger Spalding is an expert on the Second World War.

He said: "The British people were mobilised on a scale never before seen during the Second World War: women for example operated complex engineering tools, worked as anti-aircraft gun crews and flew Spitfires as delivery pilots in the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force (WAAF).

"This huge collective effort is the reason why some historians see this as a People’s War. It is not surprising that commentators, including the distinguished historian, Lord Peter Hennessy, have drawn comparisons with the war and the sense of national unity in the current crisis."

He added: "The war was also a transformative experience: out of the shared experiences of war came a commitment to build a new and better Britain.

"This was the genesis of the welfare state at the heart of which was the NHS, formally established in 1948.

"Collective endeavour and this much-prized product of war will see us through yet another time of trial."

The historian said: “I would encourage everyone to join the nation as we mark such a poignant moment in history.”

"Hang your bunting with pride over the weekend of 8-10 May and make sure you share your pictures and videos of how you may be celebrating VE Day using the hashtag #EHUVEDay75.

You can view the Edge Hill diaries at www.iwm.org.uk/history/10-photos-of-ve-day-celebrations