Church of England Diocese of Leicester Burbage with Aston Flamville

Thought for the day - Friday 8th May

8 May 2020, noon

Thought for the Day 8th May 2020

VE Day 1945

I am amazed to think that 75 years have passed since victory in Europe was finally declared. I am sure that there are some older members of our church that remember more than I do but I have been asked to write this, so here we go!

I was nearly 11 years old and in the top class at Earl Shilton Junior School. We had been waiting in anticipation for several days but on the evening of May 7th, 1945, there was an announcement on the wireless that the Prime Minister, Winston Churchill would speak to us at 3 o'clock the following afternoon, May 8th.

At about 3.15 our Head Mistress, Mrs Clark came in to our classroom and told us that the war was over at last. We all cheered and shouted!

We were sent home early. Nobody cared that parents weren't home in those days! I was a latch key kid anyway! We all ran shouting and laughing down the street!

My Mam and Dad, who worked in hosiery factories, came home earlier than usual and after we had our tea, we went for a walk to see what was happening. Everyone was out in the streets, all smiling and laughing and talking to each other.

The next day was a holiday and we listened to the wireless about everything that was happening in London. A man who lived at the bottom of our street, who was an electrician, had a gramophone which he brought out and the grown ups were dancing to his records and then we all did the "conga" in a long line up and down the road. That was when I learnt to do the "pally glide", a dance of sorts!

On the Friday afterwards, we had a street party for us kids in Mrs Peggs garage, the only house in the street that had one! Just in case it rained! All our parents made something for tea, we took our own cups, saucers, plates, and dishes and had jelly and blancmange and wore paper hats we had made out of newspaper! After tea we had races in the street. Running, three legged race, and wheelbarrow races!

Some people hung flags out of their windows and the church bells were ringing, the first time I could remember hearing them.

Of course, the war in the middle east was still going on, only to be ended after the awful atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima on August 6th and Nagasaki on August 9th, forcing Japan to surrender on August 15th.

We children expected everything to suddenly be available because we had been promised for 5 years, that all kinds of things, would be available "after the war"!

Yet, when everything settled down, materially, nothing much changed, in fact food was still rationed when I went to teachers training college from 1952 to 1954! As were clothes until 1949!

However, our spirits were lighter, people in our cities were no longer afraid to go to bed at night because of bombs, fathers came home to their families, blackout curtains came down and street lights came on again. There was a tremendous amount of work for everyone, to rebuild and to pay off the national debt. After such a long dark time, hopes were high and people set to work with a will to make the world a happier, brighter place.

Could this happen when this Coronavirus is over?

Many of us have had time to take stock of our lives, appreciate the kindness of others, the hard work and self-sacrifice of the NHS. Look at all the wonderful gifts of nature, listen to the birds, breathe clean air. As John Bevington suggested in his article on Monday's "Thought for the Day", so much good can come out of this difficult time, if we will let it!

I am remind of this verse which brings comfort and hope of a better future.

James 1:12-18 New Living Translation (NLT)

God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.

Pat Robinson