Letter From Daventry Mayor Mike Arnold: Week 6

The Mayor, Cllr Mike Arnold dresses up to commemorate VE Day with a fake cigarette prop

Hope everyone is well and looking forward to the week ahead, particularly VE Day on Friday (8th May) and the 75th Anniversary Year celebrations.

At the moment we feel deprived of our normal life but this is nothing compared to the wartime years. For the civilian population rationing of food, shoes, fuel and other goods lasted for 14 years. At the same time soldiers were drafted into the army, some not seeing home for 5 or more years and many were killed. Bombing raids destroyed houses and killed civilians, there was limited information from the radio and newspapers and, of course no internet and very little access to telephones. Yet people got on with life as best they could and most came out the other side with stories of heroism and lost loved ones.

Today as we tackle living in a pandemic, COVID19, this too brings challenges and sadness, but here in the UK our supermarkets are open and well-stocked. We may be restricted in what we can do but we have the television, internet and most people have a phone in their pocket.

If I find myself becoming depressed in lockdown I remember that; one of my fathers (I'm adopted) was a volunteer fireman through the war, the other was a regular soldier fighting in Africa and Italy, my cousin and her mother was killed in bomb blast, an uncle served on HMS Hood, transferred off only weeks before it's last sailing and another uncle was a rear gunner in a bomber where the life expectancy was only 5 flights! I remember the sacrifices they made with pride.

Many of us have similar examples and wonderful stories of the heroic things are ancestors did during times of despair and conflict. We need to be proud of what our families did in the past and we owe it them to show the same resilience today.

In a normal year the VE Day Remembrance would be one of my last civic duties, but not this year, as we all Stay at Home. However, we still remember Victory in Europe Day 75 years ago, hence this week's photo.

Daventry Town Council and Museum together with Daventry Retail Forum have come together for this special VE Anniversary and have lots of 40s era tributes to help celebrate over the bank holiday weekend. Firstly we would love you to all dress up in 1940s inspired clothes, then post on Facebook and tag us in so we can see how great everyone looks. . Also look out for local shop fronts which have been beautifully dressed up to mark the occasion.

Have a great week everyone and enjoy the online VE celebrations from the comfort of your home.

Posted: Mon, 04 May 2020 11:30 by Daventry Town Council

Tags: Community, Daventry, Mayor, Museum, News