Memories of VE Day 8th May 1945.
Mrs. Sutton (Mrs Matthews' Mum)
I would have been 9 years old, my memory is of a big street party at the end of our street on the crossroads. All of the children were sat down at the long table, my two sisters: Margaret and Doreen and my little bother David and the adults were stood around. The food was shared from each house, I remember eating sandwiches, spam sandwiches of course and jelly. Decorations were anything we could find in red and blue and I remember paper Union Jack flags. Everyone was happy singing and dancing but it was a bit mixed as Uncle Bob was still with the RAF in Egypt and Mum's cousin was not home yet from Germany. I can remember listening to Winston Churchill on the wireless, we all would gather around to listen.
Mr. Sutton (Mrs Matthews' Dad)
I was just a boy, 12, I lived at the Vernon Arms in Sudbury Derbyshire with Mum, Grandma, Grandpa, Auntie Doris and my sister Beryl. I remember the yard at the back of the pub was ram packed full of American soldiers and civilians (mainly men but there were some women). They were drinking and kicking a tin can around, it was a bit like Ashbourne Shrovetide football. Lots of kicking and jumping even when the tin was nowhere near. I was stood in the archway watching, it was chaos but happy and then to get a better view I went up to my Mum's bedroom window.
On the cricket field next to the pub, a 30 a side football match started, American soldiers and locals. A big crowd was on the touchline. The goalie at one end had a necklace made out of toilet roll holders for decoration.
I knew war in Europe had ended because I followed what was happening daily in the newspaper and on the wireless. My brother Lionel was still fighting in the army in Burma and didn't return for sometime because war didn't finish there until August 1945, VJ Day.
When rationing finished I ran all the way to the local shop and bought a Mars bar. I certainly enjoyed that but I think I had to wait a year or two for rationing to finish.