With national restrictions still in place around social distancing, the council has set out plans for how the Borough and community can commemorate the 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe Day (VE-Day), whilst staying at home.
Residents will be preparing to remember VE-Day this week (Friday 8 – Sunday 10 May) in a variety of ways, with planned events across the Borough adapted in light of the current national situation.
The Worshipful The Mayor, Cllr John Lamb, will be laying a commemorative wreath at Southend Cenotaph. This will be filmed and shared online and on social media on Friday, alongside a message from him.
The council is also delighted to be supporting Heritage Lottery funded ‘HMS Leigh – Make Do And Mend online’, which is designed to engage school children and the wider community with the world class heritage that is Southend Pier.
‘HMS Leigh – Make Do And Mend’ will tell the forgotten history of Southend Pier during World War Two, in place of the planned event that was due to take place on Southend Pier from 5 – 10 May 2020 but has been postponed due to the Coronavirus pandemic. The project will now provide an online festival of stories, films, exhibitions, learning materials, and activities from 6 to 10 May 2020. To find out more please visit www.hmsleigh.org.uk
A number of stay at home street parties are also expected to take place across the Borough, and the council is urging local people to enjoy these, but safely and with social distancing firmly in mind. More guidance is available at www.southend.gov.uk/stayathomestreetparty
More information on virtual events and guidance is available at: www.southend.gov.uk/veday
Labour’s Ian Gilbert, Leader of Southend Council, says: “We are thrilled to support the HMS Leigh virtual event and hope local families can get involved and perhaps learn something new about our town’s iconic history and heritage as part of these virtual VE Day celebrations. We are also aware that a number of stay at home street parties will also take place and urge people to be responsible and stick to the rules which are there to keep us all safe and well”.