Preston family to celebrate 'stay at home street party' for VE Day in style

Vintage dressmaker Karen Harvey and her family won't let lockdown foil their VE Day celebrations this year.

Thursday, 7th May 2020, 3:10 pm

On May 8, 1945 the British public took to the streets and packed Trafalgar Square to celebrate the end of war in Europe.

Songs and celebrations rang out as the country marked the end of six years of war.

While the coronavirus lockdown has meant hundreds of celebrations planned for the 75th anniversary have had to be cancelled, Preston City Council are inviting residents to join a 'stay at home street party'.

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A spokesperson for Preston City Council said: “We've pulled together all the best hints and tips to help with everything from homemade bunting to 1940s recipes, dances and song sheets for the national sing-long.

"On the bank holiday (Friday, May 8), there'll also be a national two-minute silence at 11am as well as an address from the Queen at 9pm - the exact moment her father, King George VI, gave a radio address in 1945."

With kits and videos on how to create your own bunting, recipes for classic afternoon tea staples such as scones, singalongs and more, lockdown doesn't mean the celebrations have to end.

Karen Harvey, 47, husband Jon Harvey, 45, and their son Max Harvey, 13, will be getting stuck in with the virtual VE Day celebrations in style this year.

Karen Harvey (pictured middle), husband Jon Harvey (pictured right) and their son Max Harvey (pictured left).

Vintage dressmaker Karen, owner of Reinvintaged in Penwortham, has been commissioned by the Harris Museum to present a behind the scenes look at how she creates her stunning outfits that commemorate designs and looks of WW2 in the 30's and 40's.

Karen said: “The Harris was due to have a VE Day celebration with singing, dancing and me presenting the catwalks that I do, but unfortunately due to the lockdown that’s all had to be shelved.

“For those of us on the reenactment circuit who love the opportunity to show off our finest attire, the idea quickly came about from my friend Harriet Ball to set up a ‘Virtual VE Day’ on Facebook, and the Harris wanting to do something similar.

“The Harris got in touch with me to do a video of what I do as a vintage dressmaker and to show off my pattern and fabric collection, so that’s been my baptism of fire into the video editing world.”

Karen, owner of Reinvintaged in Penwortham, has been commissioned to present a behind the scenes look at how she creates her stunning outfits.

Karen’s video of vintage fashion will premiere on the Harris Museum Facebook page at 12.30pm, along with the two-minute silence at 11am, the Nation's Toast at 3pm and a link to film footage of Winston Churchill on the Harris balcony on June 27, 1945 which will be aired at 7pm.

Karen will also be a judge on the ‘Best Dressed’ competition hosted by 'Virtual VE Day', a Facebook and Instagram page set up by vintage singer Harriet Ball which is running day long entertainment, including hair tutorials, singers, dancers, historical talks and more.

To find out more about Hattie’s ‘Virtual VE Day’ Facebook event, click HERE.

Karen said: “As far as encouraging people to stay in and celebrate VE Day there’s something for everybody.

“You can get out in your front garden and enjoy a socially distanced afternoon tea and celebrate with friends, but you can also get a lot of entertainment and things to do online well, so there’s a little bit of everything really.”

To find out more about Preston City Council's 'stay at home street party', click HERE.To visit the Harris Museum Facebook page, click HERE.

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