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VE Day Celebrations – Long Sutton

75 years ago today Long Sutton celebrated the end of world war 2 in Europe. Looking through the Civic Society archives I wondered how we could remember the occasion and looked to A History of Long Sutton by FW & BA Robinson. The Civic Society have the manuscript for this , electronically as well as some of the original material that went into the original book. This is a passage from 1945,    1945  When Victory in Europe Day (VE Day, officially May 8) finally came the youngsters of the town’s schools were given a rare treat, an open air party in the Market Place. The great day dawned fair and fine and dozens of wooden tables from the Church Hall were carried out and erected end on end in serried ranks, filling a large portion of the open space. The Market Place was a riot of flags and bunting. Union Jacks fluttered everywhere, and white, red and blue ribbons adorned the lampposts. The children were marched into the Market Place, each class in the charge of their own teacher and each class with its own table. Then dozens of volunteers served the excited youngsters with ice-decorated rolls, cake, jelly, and orange and lemon drink. Jean Rudolf (nee Robinson) recalls that she and her friend (the then Greta Ream), both about 17 at the time, were given the task of escorting the very young children from the Market Place to the toilets in the Church Hall. When it was all over and the tables and chairs were re-stacked under the Church Hall stage, the great day concluded with dancing and – according to one recollection – with fireworks, which would have been carefully preserved since pre-War days. The children’s party was a scene Frank Robinson painted inwatercolour while sitting in an upper floor window of Christian & Dobbs’ store. Victory in Japan Day (VJ Day) was officially marked on August 14.

Not everyone celebrated, of course, and the families, relatives and sweethearts of those lost in the War grieved in their own way. Later, the following names were added to the War Memorial in the Market Place: Douglas Bates, Leslie Beeken, Clarence Coupland, Raymond Edgoose, Vivienne Gedney, Stanley Hunt, Fred Lenton, Dennis Mussett, Harry Russell, Cecil Sharratt, Eric Thurston,                             While looking through a folder donated by the late Jean Rudolph ( nee Robinson) Bruce Robinsons sister, I came across her hand written note of the VE Day celebration, here is her account,                                                           VE Day, 8th May 1945

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