Celebrations to mark VE day in Hartlepool

Hartlepool War Memorial. Picture by FRANK REID
Hartlepool War Memorial. Picture by FRANK REID

AN evening of nostalgia will be held as Hartlepool joins in the national commemoration of the 70th anniversary of VE Day next week.

There will be an opportunity to step back in time to the 1940s at the Town Hall Theatre in Raby Road, Hartlepool, where there will be a screening of a 50-minute Pathe News film of the VE Day celebrations followed by live period music and a chance to dance.

David Worthington.

David Worthington.

Refreshments will be provided and entry is free but places are limited and must be booked in advance by contacting Hartlepool Art Gallery and Tourist Information Centre in Church Square on (01429) 890000.

The event will be held on Friday, May 8, from 6pm to 8.30pm.

Then at 9pm the focus will switch to the War Memorial in Victory Square where there will be a civic ceremony including a bugle fanfare, military and civilian wreath-laying, a tribute read by a Second World War veteran and the lighting of a commemorative beacon by civic leaders. The event will finish at 9.45pm.

David Worthington, the council’s head of culture and information, said: “On the 8th May 1945 the people of Hartlepool, along with millions of others throughout the country, celebrated the end of the Second World War in Europe.

“Music filled the streets of the town, council employees got a three-day holiday and the biggest fear was that beer would be outstripped by demand.

“This event is designed to capture that feeling of relief that came at the end of over five years of conflict and also to remember those who lost their lives and those who lived through one of the darkest periods of the country’s history.”

For more information contact David Worthington on (01429) 523491.