Sidmouth VE Day anniversary events cancelled due to coronavirus

Sidmouth 70th anniversary of VE Day party. Ref shs 5922-20-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn

Sidmouth 70th anniversary of VE Day party. Ref shs 5922-20-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn - Credit: Archant

A weekend of events in Sidmouth to mark the 75th anniversary of VE day has been cancelled because of the coronavirus – but are expected to take place at a later date.

Sidmouth Chamber of Commerce had organised a series of celebrations and commemorative events from Friday, May 8 to Sunday, May 10 this year, in conjunction with the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association (SSAFA).

A spokesman said: “Given the new directive for everyone to immediately avoid all non-essential social contact and for older and vulnerable people to isolate themselves for the next few months, we have decided to cancel the VEDay75 celebrations from 8th to 10th May.

“We say ‘cancel’ but have every intention of reviving the event, perhaps under another name, as soon as we are able – maybe later this year or early next?

“We had to apply for multi-licences and are going to ask EDDC to postpone/put them on hold to be updated for a future occasion.”

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The planned events included a 3pm raising of glasses in a toast to the end of World War Two in Europe, with as many pubs and clubs as possible joining in.

This was to be followed by an open-air ‘sing and swing’ event on Friday, May 8, with Sidmouth Town Band and the South West Lindy Hoppers.

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There was also to be a ringing out of the church bells for peace, a VE fair at the parish church on Saturday, May 9, and a patriotic street party on Sunday, May 10.

Tickets for the street party were due to go on sale on Friday, March 28.

The Sidbury/Sidford Royal British Legion have also been planning events including a VE Day party in Sidbury village hall on Friday, May 8, wreath laying at Sidbury War Memorial, and a special service on the Sunday.

They have not yet indicated whether these events will also be cancelled.

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