Remembering VE Day Celebrations in Alphington on 8th May 1945
On VE Day Alphington's church bells rang out, there were bonfires around the village and a free dance at The Institute. Jack Sanders supplied the ice cream for the celebrations.
The residents of Cross View and Devonia Terrace celebrated on their 'Green', located where the entrance to Legion Way is today. Their bonfire became so hot that it cracked the window of the policeman's office. Trestle tables were set up and all the ladies used their ration books to put on a massive spread.
Celebrations continued in the village into 1946. A victory celebration was held in, I believe June, 1946 which started with a congregation meeting in the church, Mr Dyer rendered appropriate violin solos. Also held was a fancy dress parade, well-contested sports and a comic football match. Mrs Newberry and her helpers provided and served a wonderful tea.
A record from 1946. 'The Welcome Home Committee are to be congratulated upon the success of their work in arranging for the evening of 20th October. The Institute was filled with about 150 ex-service men or their representatives. The Chairman Mr Jack Sanders, with the very considerable help of Mr Rogers as Secretary and Mr Cox as Treasurer had every detail well thought out. The Ladies Committee provided excellent refreshments. Each service man and woman was presented with a nice notebook, embossed with the owner's initials in gold and something useful inside. The Rector as Chairman of the Parish Council made the presentation to each one after he had made the opening speech of welcome home. During the evening the eight friends who gave the great sacrifice were commemorated and all those parents joined in saying the well known British Legion words of remembrance. It was a real happy family party. At the close of proceedings Mr Walter J. Edwards and Mr Rapson on behalf of the service members heartily thanked the village for their kind welcome home.'
Copyright © Rowena Kirkpatrick