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Woodthorpe Lodge Residents Reminisce About Their VE Day Memories

Published: Wednesday 6th May 2020

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Residents at Woodthorpe Lodge care home, in Loughborough, have been recalling on their memories of VE day to mark the 75th anniversary of the event.

Staff and residents are set to mark the event with a 1940’s style afternoon tea party, where residents will perform a rendition of Dame Vera Lynn’s ‘We’ll Meet Again’ live on Facebook for their friends and family.

Woodthorpe Lodge resident, John Grant, 89, said, ‘VE day is one of those memories you will simply never forget, I can remember exactly where I was at the time – I was sat at the dinner table with my mother when Churchill’s voice come over the radio to announce the end of the war in Europe’.

We immediately ran outside and began hugging our neighbours and jumping around! People hosted street parties which were incredible, whole streets would drag their dining tables outside for all the food to go on!’

John adds, ‘I was too young to drink at the time, but I think there were a few sore heads the next day from all the celebrating happening in the pubs!’.

Elizabeth Vryenhoef, who joined the Woodthorpe Lodge family in January this year, said ‘The war was an incredibly scary time, I can still picture the destruction of buildings in my mind to this day! My father built us bunk beds in the cellar to protect ourselves which were incredibly cold and dark’.

‘The feeling of joy we all felt on VE day is like no emotion I can possibly explain, it was total bliss to feel safe and free once more’.

Elsie Ashmore aged 91, said, ‘I was 28 years old when the war finished so my memories of that time are still very clear in my mind. The war impacted much of my younger years and I lost many friends and family during that time. VE Day brought a sense of freedom and peace to the streets of England and the celebrations were incredible for weeks following Churchill’s announcement’.

Barbra Hubbard aged 87, shares her memories of the war, she said, ‘I can remember the announcement being made and everybody rushing home to celebrate with their loved ones and neighbours out in the street. People held bonfires, street parties and everywhere you looked people were hanging banners and English flags out of their windows to celebrate’.

‘Despite it being such an incredibly joyous day, there was still an element of sadness and grief as some of our loved ones sadly passed away as a result of the war’.

Care Manager, Tracy Taylor, said, ‘Our residents have such fantastic memories and stories from their experiences during the war and VE Day. It has been inspiring to hear of their sacrifices and triumphs and share these stories with one another. We are excited to commemorate the 75thanniversary of VE Day ‘virtually’ with our friends and family who cannot be with us in the home later this week’.

 Woodthorpe Lodgeis a residential care home, boasting a luxury cinema room, beauty parlour, convenience store and spacious lounge and dining areas.  Residents at Woodthorpe Lodge enjoy a full programme of health, leisure and wellbeing activities managed by a dedicated team of carers. All 66 bedrooms are en-suite, enabling staff to deliver person-centred care in a dignified manner, promoting independence as far as possible. For more information about Woodthorpe Lodge, contact Preet on 01509 274 027 or click here. 

To follow the home on Facebook clickhere.