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We’re still in lockdown, but as Liverpool celebrates this momentous time in recent history, there’s a host of online and stay-at-home activities to keep families busy with VE Day 75 fun to honour the great men and women of WWII.
The streets may be silent, but Liverpool will be lighting up in red, white and blue, as venues including The Three Graces, St George’s Hall, Liverpool Cathedral, St John’s Beacon and Radio City, the M&S Bank Arena, Exchange Flags and Liverpool ONE commemorate our WWII heroes.
Throughout VE Day, 18 digital messages of thanks will adorn screens including Liverpool Lime Street, Lord Street, Scotland Road, the M62, Royal Court and Anfield Stadium.
Traditional VE Day celebrations are held to resemble the reactions of families waiting at home in 1945. Street parties broke out across neighbourhoods, uniting Merseyside communities in celebration after the region lost almost 4,000 residents between 1940 and 1942, enduring extensive bombing which made it the worst hit city outside of London.
There’s so much to explore, from rare archives to interactive fun the whole family can get involved in.
Culture Liverpool have an incredible selection of VE Day fun and is basically your one stop shop for the celebration, from wartime recipes to a WWII playlist, 1940s dance trends like The Lindy Hop, as well as bunting designs to download, and your chance to design a VE poster! Tag them in on social media too using @CultureLpool
During The May Blitz, from 3 May 1941, Liverpool was targeted by 7 days of air attacks. You can look at photographs and hear stories of the city during this time in the archives of National Museums Liverpool here
The final WWII air raid hit the city on 10 January 1942, but the port of Liverpool remained open throughout this devastating period. Prime Minister Winston Churchill visited in April 1941, and said of the city: ‘I see the damage done by the enemy attacks, but I also see the spirit of an unconquered people.’
Liverpool played a vital role in the WWII Battle of the Atlantic headquarters. You can find out more online at the fascinating Western Approaches here.
The Royal British Legion: VE Day 75
Set to unite the WWII generation with the difficulties families are experiencing today, take Afternoon Tea with this 45-minute stream of inspirational memories.
Katherine Jenkins at The Royal Albert Hall
The 150 year-old venue welcomes Katherine Jenkins live for this free lockdown concert in aid of raising donations to SSAFA the Armed Forces charity from 6pm.
We can’t go out and celebrate, but there’s a host of unmissable TV to take us back 75 years…
BBC One: VE Day: The Nation Remembers, 11am.
Join the two-minute silence for those heroes who fought for freedom but didn’t live to see peace.
BBC One: VE Day 75: The Announcement of Victory, 2.45pm.
A broadcast of Sir Winston Churchill’s victory speech, made on this day from 10 Downing Street, including music and readings from celebrities and VIPS.
Channel 5: VE Day: The Lost Films, 7pm.
A collection of rare clips from the original 1945 VE Day celebrations, including fancy dress parades, sports matches, live bands, piggy-back races and kisses in Trafalgar Square.
ITV: Captain Tom’s War, 8pm.
Discover the life of lockdown hero, Captain Tom Moore, as the veteran shares memories of serving in WWII, and his family tell us more about the inspirational man himself.
SKY – The History Channel: Love on VE Day, 8pm.
As victory was declared, this touching documentary brings five stories of love and new beginnings.
BBC One: VE Day 75: The People’s Celebration, 8pm.
This collaboration with the Royal British Legion brings musical celebration to honour the wonderful generation of WWII, including a message from Her Majesty The Queen at 9pm.
Channel 4: VE Day in Colour: Britain’s Biggest Party, 7pm.
Restored colour films and new interviews showcase the families and street parties of 1945.
BBC One: Antiques Roadshow VE Day Special, 7.15pm.
This special edition looks back at wartime items featured on the show, with memories from presenters and guests.
Take a seat for these award-winning WWII movies available to view online this weekend!
Allied soldiers Tom Hardy, Kenneth Branagh, Mark Rylance and Harry Styles from Belgium, the British Empire and France are surrounded and evacuated during this fierce battle of WWII.
The Great Escape (1963)
Based on a true story, if you haven’t seen this stone-cold classic, make it a must-watch. Steve McQueen leads an all-star cast as allied prisoners of war who plan an escape for hundreds of prisoners from a German prison camp.
Darkest Hour (2017)
Lily James and Kristin Scott Thomas co-star, as Gary Oldman portrays Winston Churchill in May 1940, as the fate of WWII hangs between negotiations with the enemy or fighting for the British Empire.
Charlotte Grey (2001)
Cate Blanchet joins the French Resistance during World War II to rescue her RAF boyfriend.
The Imitation Game (2014)
Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch stars as mathematical genius Alan Turing attempts to crack the German Enigma code alongside fellow mathematicians.
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