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Friday 8 May 2020 marks 75 years since the end of the Second World War in Europe. In 1945 a national holiday marked the end of the war and people across the country celebrated.

This year’s celebrations will be very different from those of 75 years ago. We are encouraging everyone to celebrate at home and there are lots of things you can do.

Time to get those colouring pens and pencils out!

Jo Joio is getting in the spirit and celebrating VE Day 75 with her flags and bunting – the only thing missing is colour! It’s time to get creative, so download our free Jo Joio VE Day colouring in sheet below!

Jo Joio VE Day colouring in sheet

 

Dylan Thomas Centre

Dylan Thomas spent much of World War Two writing filmscripts for short documentary style films, broadcast to inform the public and boost morale.

Between 1941 and 1945, Dylan scripted or co-scripted at least 15 films for the Ministry of Information, referring to it as ‘my war work’.

On VE Day, the Dylan Thomas Centre team will publish a blog on one of the documentary style films Dylan wrote during the war for the Ministry of Information. 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.

Keep an eye on the Facebook and Twitter pages for more information.

Swansea Museum

Swansea Museum draws on objects in its collection to tell the story of Swansea, and the people and places that make it rich in culture and history.

To commemorate the 75th anniversary of VE Day, the museum has produced an interesting video talk and presentation on the Three Nights Blitz and the impact World War Two had on the area.

The museum will also be posting points of interest throughout the day, including a blog on the gunneries at Mumbles.

Follow Swansea Museum on FacebookTwitter and Instagram, using the hashtags #MuseumFromHome and #VEDay75

Celebrate #AtHome

We’ve got all you need to help you celebrate VE Day 75 #AtHome! Decorate your house with bunting and posters that you can download for free from the VE Day 75 website, and get some recipe ideas for your party buffet!

VE Day bunting and posters

Recipe ideas

West Glamorgan Archive Service

The West Glamorgan Archive Service will be posting a #FilmFriday, using photographs from their collections to look at life in Swansea before the outbreak of the Second World War before moving on to tell the story of life during the war and the Three Nights’ Blitz.  They will then turn to the celebrations of VE Day street parties and a brief look at the rebuilding of our town after the devastation of war.

The film will be posted on their Facebook page.

There will also be details on a new Online Resource for Schools relating to the Three Nights’ Blitz which can be found on their website.   The resource uses photographs and maps from the collections and enables pupils to appreciate the devastation our town faced during those three nights. The service hopes to expand this resource over the coming weeks.

The Archives will also be publicising two books that were recently published/reprinted on their Online Shop.  The first book entitled “The Three Nights’ Blitz” uses contemporary documentary sources to tell the story of what happened on those three nights in February 1941 from both sides, using Luftwaffe sources as well as British.  The second book entitled “A New and Even Better Abertawe: Rebuilding Swansea, 1941-1961”, tells the story of the aftermath of the destruction of the town centre and the way Swansea was rebuilt after the Second World War.

And finally they have published an article entitled “Lest we forget: The Swansea Cenotaph Roll of Honour, 1939-1945” on the 60th anniversary of VE Day in 2005.  It will be republished on their website for the weekend.  The article focuses on a bundle of letters addressed to the Town Clerk which forms part of our collections.  The letters seek to identify the citizens of Swansea who died in action during the Second World War, in order to place their names on the Cenotaph.  Many of the letters were written by the families of those who had lost their lives, usually by their wives or mothers.

Glynn Vivian Art Gallery

The team at the Glynn Vivian will be posting from their Facebook and Twitter channels and letting you know some interesting facts to include :

  • In 1940 The Gallery welcomed its Two Millionth visitor (the mayor of Swansea). We’ll be showing you the group photo taken for the Evening Post, it includes the artist Evan Walters standing behind Rear Admiral Walker-Heneage-Vivian, Glynn’s nephew!
  • In 1941 the Gallery staged an exhibition of R.A.F photographs and equipment to help promote the new service and help the Belgian war effort.
  • In 1941, following Winston Churchill’s visit to Swansea to see the devastation after the three night Blitz, Mrs Churchill admired William Grant Murray’s paintings of the Gorsedd, and so copies were presented to her a month later, as a gift from Swansea
  • In 1941 during Swansea’s 3 night Blitz a series of incendiary bombs fell on the gallery, they failed to go off but you can still see the scorch marks left on the wooden floor if you look carefully
  • In 1943, an Information Bureau opens at Gallery to assist overseas service men and women and also overseas visitors to Swansea.

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Swansea Libraries

On Friday May 8th, Swansea Libraries Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts will be packed with ideas on how you can celebrate and commemorate the 75th Anniversary of VE Day at home.

They will be sharing craft ideas and Library Manager Sarah from Brynhyfryd has put together an instructional video how to make your own VE Day plane using everyone’s lockdown luxury a toilet roll!

The Libraries local studies team will be will posting headlines, front pages and stories from the papers in the days before and on the day. They will also post pictures of the VE day celebrations in Swansea – featuring for example street parties in streets that people will recognise today.  They’d love to hear from you and your memories too.

They will be streaming stories and poems from “The Book of Hopes” compiled and edited by Kathryn Rundell and read by the library team on their Facebook page from 2pm.

“The Book of Hopes” is a collection of stories, poems and illustrations by over 100 authors and is dedicated to the doctors, nurses, carers, porters, cleaners and everyone currently working in hospitals. The theme of finding hope in the most unexpected of places, with the most unexpected people is something that would have been felt back in 1945.

Check out the Swansea Libraries Facebook page where there are lots of ideas of crafts that people can do at home in preparation for celebrations.  There will also be rhymetime activities too!

Swansea NERS team have been working hard since lockdown began, providing support and contact for many vulnerable people; signposting to services, ensuring physical activity continues, developing resources, sending home programmes, having virtual tea parties and creating a buddy support system to help keep people safe and well and protect the NHS.

To commemorate VE Day, the team will work with 75+ age group participants, to the chorus of “we’ll meet again”.

In addition, 99 year old Ioan Valentine Evans who is one of the oldest NERS participant in Wales and attends the classes regularly will be recorded and will feature in a video.

Ioan was only 24 years old at the end of the WW2, he was a submariner with the Royal Navy from 1942 and before that he was a volunteer fireman (key worker) in Swansea and lived in Swansea Town centre during the Blitz.