Celebrating VE Day – 75 years on

This Friday 8 May, Camden along with the rest of the United Kingdom marks VE Day, which this year recognises 75 years since World War Two conflict ceased in Europe.

Camden had suffered along with other areas of London from the regular bombing of the city known as ‘The Blitz’, and residents had taken up a variety of roles as part of the war effort, serving both on the front line and what became known as ‘the home front’. When peace was announced, celebrations broke out across the capital, with many of Camden’s communities holding street parties, with singing and dancing.

We’ve shared some of the photos from our archive of celebrations in Rugby Street in 1945.

Due to the current coronavirus outbreak, similar mass events are not allowed to mark VE Day this year – however, there is a national programme of events residents can follow from their homes and doorsteps if they wish to celebrate and remember the sacrifice made by those involved in the war, as part of a national Bank Holiday.

More details of the programme are on the Government website , while the VE-VJ website includes activity packs including how to make your own bunting and recipe ideas for a ‘stay-at-home’ VE Day picnic.

Councillor Maryam Eslamdoust, Mayor of Camden, said: “VE Day is a day where we celebrate peace and a rejection of hate and hostility. We remember the enormous sacrifices made by Camden residents in past conflicts and the efforts of all those who continue to promote peace in the world. In Camden we are proud to be a borough that stands up to speak out against those seeking to cause discord and divide us – we are and always will be, no place for hate.

“For all Camden residents this Bank Holiday we must abide by the key advice – to stay at home and save lives. However, for residents who want to, I do encourage them to get involved in some of the available activities within their own household – and to have fun learning about that poignant and celebratory moment when the guns fell silent in Europe 75 years ago.”

We would love to see some photos of your VE day celebrations at home and what our community organisations are up to. If you have some photos you are happy for us to publish, please tweet us @CamdenCouncil with your best snaps.

Finally, Camden residents have joined with several other london boroughs to give their childhood memories of VE Day 8 May 1945 in this glorious full colour film made by Digital Drama, with archive footage from London's Screen Archives. The film covers memories from six London Boroughs: Camden, Croydon, Ealing, Housnslow, Kingston and Merton. Enjoy!


VE Day Film Digital Drama from Digital Drama on Vimeo.

You can read more about Camden's history and our archives on our website.