Despite VE Day community celebrations and commemorative events being cancelled due to Coronavirus, Chilton residents still managed to ensure that the 75th Anniversary was appropriately marked.
In true Chilton style and demonstrating their renowned community spirit there were street and garden parties, some with live singers, and houses and gardens were decorated, and many people dressed up in 1940’s style.
Wreaths were discreetly and quietly laid at both War Memorials ahead of the event, and at 11am, residents observed the two minutes silence as the nation remembered and paid tribute to its heroes.
As per Bruno Peek, the National Pageant Master’s recommendations, solo buglers, trumpeters or cornet players were encouraged to play the Last Post along with Battle’s O’er and VE 75 years.
Chilton was fortunate to have Kevin York from the Bishops Pipers and local resident, Simon Howe who both kindly played, unannounced, in the Town, and this was tremendously appreciated by the Chilton community.
At 3pm many residents participated in the Nation’s Toast, raising a glass and saying: “To those who gave so much, we thank you.”
As residents continued to mark the anniversary, within the curtilage of their own homes and gardens, adhering to social distancing, local resident Ray Sawyer, of Sawyer and Sawyer Photography did a walk around Chilton from 4-6pm, kindly offering to take photographs, free of charge, of residents and families enjoying the day.
A spokesperson for Chilton Town Council said: “These photos encapsulate the true community spirit of Chilton residents, even in times of adversity, this is something that Chilton residents are rightly proud of and will be able to look back on and remember in years to come.
“Special thanks are given to Sawyer and Sawyer Photography for this thoughtful gesture.
In the evening, Her Majesty the Queen addressed the nation, which culminated with Dame Vera Lynn’s song We’ll Meet Again.
“Please share your photographs to either the Chilton Town Council Outreach Facebook page or alternatively email to info(at)chiltondurham-tc.gov.uk,” added the spokesperson.
“We are hoping to put a gallery of photographs on the Town Council website. They may also be used when we can eventually celebrate and commemorate the event.
“It is hoped that that VE & VJ can be marked the weekend of 15th – 16th August. This will be dependent on Coronavirus and current Government advice.
“Once it is safe to do so, details on how residents can contribute to a specially made VE Day 75th Anniversary Commemorative Book will be advertised.
“The Town Council would like to thank residents for their understanding of the cancellation of the events and for their efforts in marking this major occasion in our history whilst adhering to government guidelines.
“Everyone should be immensely proud of how they are adapting and dealing with these uncertain times and we hope that you all continue to keep safe.”