With street parties and events in Swanage to celebrate the 75th anniversary of VE Day cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, the message to mark the occasion at home has been reinforced by all the emergency services and Public Health Dorset.
Many residents have already got into the spirit of the occasion by decorating their homes in red, white and blue. With the weather in Swanage forecast to be warm and sunny, residents are being urged to celebrate in their gardens or indoors.
Councillor Mike Bonfield, Swanage Town Mayor has expressed his disappointment but said we should all enjoy this long weekend as best we can:
“This weekend we should have been coming together to celebrate VE75. There was a great day planned by the group organising it for the community, which of course has had to be postponed. I hope that you will join together in your own homes for the events that are still going ahead.
“This is also a time for us all to recollect what our families went through during and after the second World War. Although we are going through a hard time I believe it is nothing compared to what people went through then.”
BBC TV schedule
The BBC is broadcasting a schedule of events that can be watched from the safety of the living room on BBC One. These are:
- 11 am National moment of Remembrance and thanksgiving, including a Two Minute Silence
- 2.45 pm The Announcement of Victory – a chance to hear Winston Churchill’s stirring victory speech once again, when he addressed the British people from Downing Street and announced that war was over in Europe.
- 3 pm Nation’s Toast to the Heroes of World War 2.
- 8 pm Programme of memories and music.
- 9 pm The Queen addresses the nation followed by a UK-wide singalong to Vera Lynn’s ‘We’ll Meet Again’.
“Threat of the virus is still very real in Dorset”
Sam Crowe, Director of Public Health for Dorset said:
“With celebrations like a Bank Holiday, it’s even harder not to be able to see friends and family. We want to thank everyone for all they are doing to help us stop the spread of COVID-19.
“The threat of the virus is still very real in Dorset, but by staying at home and following social distancing guidelines, we can limit the impact it will have.”
While some may have a chance to relax, for Purbeck Police it will be business as usual. They issued this statement on social media:
“A simple message for the Bank Holiday weekend. Officers will be out and about over the weekend patrolling Purbeck beauty spots and road networks.”
Purbeck Police will continue to patrol Swanage and the surrounding area over the Bank Holiday weekend.
Between Friday 27th March and Wednesday 6th May 2020, Dorset Police issued 377 fixed penalty notices to people who have allegedly breached the COVID-19 restrictions.
Dorset Police Chief Constable James Vaughan said:
“As sad as it is, Dorset and our tourism hot spots are closed for business for now. We will be turning people around if they are found to be travelling here from elsewhere for no good reason and some of those people could also risk being fined.”