Display at port and heartwarming video - Businesses join in VE Day celebrations
PUBLISHED: 08:53 08 May 2020 | UPDATED: 11:05 08 May 2020
© Stephen Waller
Businesses across Suffolk and north Essex are joining in today’s VE Day commemorations - with ideas ranging from a display at the Port of Ipswich to a video released by Stonham Barns.
At the Port of Ipswich, ABP key operational staff have taken inspiration from recent tributes to NHS heroes to pay their own special tribute to VE Day, using one tonne bags of Orwell Fertiliser, which is bagged at the port.
Andrew Harston, ABP Regional Director for Wales and Short Sea Ports, said: “I am so proud of our colleagues who have worked to keep our ports open throughout the coronavirus crisis, and who have done a fantastic job.
“It is great when we can come together like this to celebrate in our own way an important and memorable anniversary, that is not going to be the nationwide celebration that the country had planned.”
Heartwarming video of We’ll Meet Again
Stonham Barns Park has released a poignant video to tie in with the 75th anniversary, which features country pop singer Breeze RedWine performing We’ll Meet Again, the song made famous by Dame Vera Lynn.
Stonham Barns is sponsoring Breeze to develop her singer-songwriter career. She recorded the song earlier this year for the 75th anniversary of VE Day, and it was originally intended for an event which has now had to be postponed.
Owner Alan Forward said “We are excited that, during these difficult times for us all, we are able to bring our VE Day 75th anniversary video, and I very much hope that everybody enjoys it. The team have worked incredibly hard in isolation to finish this.”
READ MORE - How can you celebrate the VE Day anniversary in Suffolk and Essex?
Cruise line ‘Shines a Light’
Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, which has its headquarters in Ipswich, is today supporting the Royal Navy’s ‘Shine A Light’ campaign, with its four ocean ships sounding their horns and shining their search lights in Scotland’s Firth of Forth to mark VE Day.
At 3pm, shortly after the broadcast of Sir Winston Churchill’s victory speech, Balmoral, Braemar, Boudicca and Black Watch will join Royal Navy and Royal Fleet Auxiliary vessels up and down the country in sounding their horns.
Later, at 10pm, after the address from Her Majesty The Queen, all four ships will join the Royal Navy in shining their search and spot lights into the night sky.
Peter Deer, Managing Director at Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, said: “The VE Day bank holiday was set to be a day full of celebrations right across the UK as together we mark 75 years since the end of the Second World War.
“Sadly, the current world climate means that many of those celebrations will not be able to go ahead.
“But, by shining our lights and sounding our horns in support of the Royal Navy’s Shine A Light campaign, we can commemorate this historic day, and show our thanks to Forth Ports who have supported us in true Great British spirit while our ships are in their waters.”
READ MORE - How did Suffolk celebrate VE Day 75 years ago?
Calendar firm looks back to wartime heritage
Rose Calendars, based in Colchester, was last year hit by the late change of date for the bank holiday, as it had already started its print runs, but said it was great news that VE Day was being commemorated.
Today, it is taking the opportunity to take a look back over 112 years of trading. During the Second World War, the use of paper was rationed and calendars had to be reduced to just one ounce (25g). The resulting calendars were very lightweight, with ultra-thin paper. Rose still has some of these calendars in their archives.
Chairman Chris Rose recalled his father Ivor’s account of what life was like working at the factory during the war, saying: ““My father was never a sentimental man, but when recalling the war he often told us of the significant losses the company endured and how many young men who’d previously worked at the factory, never returned from the war.
“The loss of life was immense and the business was sustained by a skeleton staff, but we survived. We did this by adapting and printing what we could. We have always tried to maintain our business despite what the world throws at us and the current situation is no different. My son Michael (fourth generation in the family business) is now steering us through this troubling period and our business is adapting, as we all must at this time.”
The company says: “It is with pride and emotion that Rose Calendars support the commemoration of VE Day on 8th May, knowing that as a business we must remember the past, adapt in the present, and look to the future.
House builder helping veterans
Another company marking VE Day is Barratt Developments plc, which has new homes developments in Suffolk, including in Felixstowe and Red Lodge. The builder is today launching a new scheme to help Armed Forces personnel get on or up the housing ladder.
Its new armed forces contribution scheme is available to all UK Armed Forces personnel who are currently employed by the Army, Navy or RAF, or who have left in the past 12 months. Itoffers a 5% deposit contribution towards any new Barratt or David Wilson home, on top of any other discount or promotion.
David Thomas, chief executive of Barratt Developments, said: “We have chosen to mark VE Day with a special thank you to all those serving in the Armed Forces. As a proud Armed Forces employer and long-standing supporter of the RBLI, we take our commitment very seriously and we look forward to helping them even more through this new scheme.”
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