The Alwynes: Marking VE Day


When Friday pretended to be Bank Holiday Monday

Friday 8th May 2020 was a national holiday to mark 75 years since the ‘Victory in Europe’ ceasefire in WW2. Perhaps this would be the last major commemoration to include a sizable population of those who had lived through WW2, as soldiers, workers, and children.

But this was not a usual commemoration day. In May 2020 the UK was in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic and people were legally obliged to stay close to home and socially isolate. It was, indeed, ‘Virus Everywhere’ Day, and given that Covid-19 disproportionally strikes older people, there was a special poignancy to this day of honouring those who served their country and lived through a different kind of global crisis.

Yet we needed some fun, and many of us joined with our household in our gardens, or came out on the street for some 2 metres apart banter and booze.

It was a surprisingly lovely day, and we even made the York Press thanks to Nancy and Henry commemorating Sgt. Jack Winstanley (a WW2 fighter pilot who once lived in their house) as well as the animals who were co-opted into the forces, and who all helped defeat Nazi fascism.

Please feel free to send more photos, or any reflections on the day, email: