VE Day anniversary celebrated with a very sociable distance in Saffron Walden

PUBLISHED: 13:00 16 May 2020

An homage to the sailor kissing a girl in Times Square - Jonathan and Cheryl Waters. Picture: YASMIN SCRIPPS

An homage to the sailor kissing a girl in Times Square - Jonathan and Cheryl Waters. Picture: YASMIN SCRIPPS

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Social distancing in Saffron Walden including the celebratory VE Day teas

Friends Fiona and Jill, who live in East Street, Saffron Walden keeping a sociable distance. Picture: YASMIN SRIPPSFriends Fiona and Jill, who live in East Street, Saffron Walden keeping a sociable distance. Picture: YASMIN SRIPPS

On the 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe at Saffron Walden’s War Memorial, the town’s mayor, Councillor Arthur Coote, laid a wreath.

It was a singular ceremony, which would normally have been attended by large crowds.

But while social distancing was observed there were celebrations all over the town.

In East Street, neighbours really got into the spirit of the era.

Afternoon tea served with style - and a shovel. Picture: YASMIN SCRIPPSAfternoon tea served with style - and a shovel. Picture: YASMIN SCRIPPS

Jonathan and Cheryl Waters, dressed to evoke the 1940s, had their afternoon tea - but he, playing waiter, served the refreshments on a shovel.

Then, possibly engaged in the emotion of the occasion, in an homage to the famous picture of the sailor kissing a girl in Times Square on VJ (Victory in Japan) Day, Jonathan swept Cheryl up in a romantic embrace.

Friends Fiona and Jill sat at opposite ends of their tea table. Their neighbours Celine and Graham with children Dougie and Ivy also sat discreetly apart. Dougie was also celebrating his fourth birthday on the day.

In Wimbish, Michael Rhodes decorated his home, which was bombed during the war. It was then a farmhouse.

Celine and Graham with children Ivy and Dougie - Dougie was also celebrating his fourth birthday. Picture: YASMIN SCRIPPSCeline and Graham with children Ivy and Dougie - Dougie was also celebrating his fourth birthday. Picture: YASMIN SCRIPPS

He said: “The farmer was blown out of his bed and all the pigs in the farmyard were killed. The house wasn’t much damaged but all the windows were blown out.”

Mr Rhodes was two on VE Day but he does remember it. He and his mum, Florence and four brothers and sisters were at home in Croydon, Surrey. “It was the first party I had ever been to. It was in a hall, I remember the cakes and jellies because it was food we didn’t have.”

His father, Ted served in the RAF.

Mr Rhodes said he decorated the house for the 75th anniversary because of the emotion of the day. “It was a big day.”

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