Stay at Home Street Party – Friday 8th May 2020
If society was operating normally, the weekend of 8th to 10th May would have been a period of national commemoration for the 75th Anniversary of VE Day (Victory in Europe), which marked the end of the Second World War against Germany.
In Ruddington, a community event was scheduled to take place on The Green on Saturday 9th May. Unfortunately, like numerous other events, this has been cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the subsequent lockdown.
Given our current requirement is to “Stay at Home,” an alternative way of marking this historically significant date has been suggested: a “Stay at Home Street Party.”
To take part, simply:
- Decorate your house in red, white and blue, and
- Enjoy a picnic in your front garden.
The idea is for families in your neighbourhood to celebrate outside together, whilst still observing social distancing – i.e. staying in your own garden – to mark this important date. In 1945, street parties and celebrations were held nationwide and everyone congregated together. The 75th Anniversary will go down in history as a very different celebration, but hopefully one we can still enjoy as a community.
I was part of the group planning the original event and was going to ask residents to help make bunting to adorn the High Street and The Green. I had already sourced ribbon for this activity, via my volunteer role at a scrapstore.
I’ve now made this ribbon into bunting “starter packs” so families can create their own bunting to decorate their houses. Already, I’ve received numerous requests from all over the village from residents advising me that they’re actively planning their “street parties”.
Local businesses are also joining in the event by streaming music, creating picnic hampers to purchase and offering various food options.
The return of “Raucous Ruddington!”
Remember when the 2018 Tour of Britain passed through our village and we all made an almighty noise to welcome the cyclists and speed them on their way? To help unite the village even further during the Stay at Home Street Party, we’re suggesting residents create a similar racket at 3pm – the very time that the Prime Minister made the Victory in Europe announcement over the radio on 8th May 1945.
Clapping, bells, whistles, horns…let’s have it all! (You’ve had plenty of practice with “Clap for Carers” over the last few weeks!) As we recall Winston Churchill’s immortal words of “We may allow ourselves a brief period of rejoicing,” we can think ahead to better times when we can all get together in person once again.
The Nation’s Toast
If you’d prefer a slightly quieter celebration at 3pm, an alternative is to take part in the Nation’s Toast. Simply raise a glass of refreshment of your choice and undertake the following “Toast”: “To those who gave so much, we thank you,” using this unique opportunity to pay tribute to the many millions at home and abroad that gave so much to ensure we all enjoy and share the freedom we have today.
And there’s more…
Other national initiatives include a two minutes’ silence at 11am (please stand outside your home if you can) and an address by the Queen at 9pm, followed by a national doorstep singalong to Dame Vera Lynn’s “We’ll meet again”.
Bringing Ruddington together
Taking part in the Stay at Home Street Party is purely voluntary. It’s also entirely up to you whether you’d like to take part in “Raucous Ruddington” or any of the national initiatives. However, it’s hoped that neighbourhoods across the village will embrace the street party idea as a whole, and bring us together in a shared experience during these isolated times.
Supporting the Royal British Legion
As we’re all acutely aware, many charities are struggling financially due to losing their funding and income streams. Each year, our Parish Council chooses a charity to support by donating the proceeds from community events such as the Summer Fair. This year’s chosen charity is, appropriately, the Royal British Legion, which provides help and support to service personnel and their families.
If you’d like to make a donation to the Royal British Legion, the Parish Council’s Deputy Clerk, Sue Peacock, has set up a Go Fund Me page which you can find here. Please support our fundraising efforts if you can, as we remember the service personnel who helped to secure our freedom 75 years ago this month.