Like so many others, Aldermaston Village had great plans to celebrate the 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe Day. Sadly, these had to be drastically curtailed, due to Covid-19. Nonetheless, Aldermaston Village did its best to match previous celebrations!
On VE Day itself in 1945, at the exact time of cessation of hostilities, Villagers gathered on the Loosey and two group photos have survived – the first two images below. After the first is the handwritten caption on the reverse of the photograph, which hangs in Aldermaston’s Parish Hall.
50 years later, on 8th May 1996, Villagers again gathered on the Loosey for a group photograph to match the original one. This photo appears next.
For the 75th anniversary, one intention of course was to replicate these historic images with another group photo taken on the same ancient piece of grassland. This was impossible and a safely spaced out arrangement had to be recorded instead.
The fourth photo- the first in colour- is the same view of the “Loosey” on 8th. May 2020. Festooned with bunting but devoid of people because Social Distancing regulations (a legal minimum of two metres between unrelated people) made this impossible.
Following these are images taken before and after the two minutes’ silence at 11 am, showing the sense of community spirit.
A separate post, entitled Press Coverage- Second World War , presents newspaper cuttings which vividly convey the atmosphere of hope and dread in 1939- and of enormous relief six years later.