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BLOG | May 05, 2020

CITY residents are getting the chance to go back in time for VE Day this week.

Across the world there will be commemorations for the 75th anniversary of one of the most significant days of the 20th century.

And despite the fact that the Coronavirus crisis has prevented traditional street parties from taking place, Swansea Council’s cultural services team has laid on a number of activities to mark this historical day.

Video presentations, blogs and online activities are all on the menu to commemorate a special day in our country’s history.

Robert Francis-Davies, Cabinet Member for Investment, Regeneration and Tourism, said: “It’s very sad but necessary that Coronavirus means that some of the traditional events of VE Day celebrations like street parties and church services can’t take place in the usual way.

“But the incredible community spirit that has brought so many people together in the wake of the pandemic offers at least a flavour of what it must have been like for places like Swansea to have pulled together in the face of extraordinary challenges all those years ago.

“I’d urge everyone to join in the National Two Minutes’ Silence at 11am on Friday and the National Toast taking place at 3pm.

“The activities and information the council’s Cultural Services team has pulled together aims to recall some of the sights, sounds and events from VE Day and looks at the way in which wartime events in Swansea helped shape local people and local communities.”

Full details are available here but here’s five virtual VE Day things to do:

  • West Glamorgan Archive Service.

Its regular #FilmFriday feature will be taking a look at life in Swansea before, during and after the devastation of war. The look back tells stories of the Three Night Blitz, VE Day street parties and the work done to rebuild the town in the postwar era.

The service has also created a new online resource for local schools about the Three Night Blitz, using maps and photographs from the collection to demonstrate the devastation that took place.

Find out more

  • Dylan Thomas Centre

The team will publish a blog on one of the documentary style films Dylan wrote during the war for the Ministry of Information, which were designed to inform and to boost morale. There’ll also be social media posts on what else Dylan was doing in 1945, and on ‘Return Journey’, Dylan’s radio play about the Blitz and its effect on local communities.

Find out more

  • Swansea Library Service

All libraries will be closed but the service’s online accounts will be open and packed with ideas, ranging from a video about how to make a VE Day plane out of a toilet roll to streaming stories, poetry, newspaper headlines, pictures and VE Day celebrations in local streets that people will recognise today.

Find out more

  • Swansea Museum

Swansea Museum has produced a video presentation on the blitz, and they’ll also be doing a blog on the gunneries at Mumbles with some 360 images of the site as it is now.

Find out more

  • Glynn Vivian

Although the building was struck by bombs during the Three Night Blitz, none went off. During the war it welcomed its two millionth visitor, Winston and Mrs Churchill and ran a number of patriotic exhibitions.

Find out more