Published: Thursday 7th May 2020
Residents at Lydgate Lodge care home, in Batley, have been reminiscing about their memories of VE Day to mark the 75th anniversary of the event.
The home is set to celebrate 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.
95 year old resident, Louis Gomersal, said, ‘I remember when I was stationed in the land army, I lived in a hostel with 12 other girls and we all worked on a farm helping to grow crops and rear animals. My favourite part was being able to drive the tractor. I have such fond memories of my time on the farm, I was even given an award from Gordon Brown in recognition of my services to the Women’s Land Army’.
‘I remember when we received the news that the war was over, it was a feeling of immense joy! Out in the countryside we celebrated the news, but I did not experience the street parties that everyone remembers’.
Vera Bradley, said, ‘I was very young when the war ended, however, I will never forget watching everybody flock to the streets to celebrate with one another. My mother put red and blue bows in my hair and we took our dining table out to the street for the parties!’.
Thomas Richardson, also aged 95, said, ‘I worked in the Army-Royal Signals during the war, it was such a frightening time back then and I am so glad the younger generations nowadays don’t have to experience that kind of fear’.
‘I remember VE day being such a fun and exciting time, I went to Shepley to celebrate with my friends and family and I received everything for free such as my bus fare, meals and pints of beer in return for my service!’.
92 year old, Dennis Balaam, recalls on his wartime experiences, he said, ‘At age 17 I joined the RAF and was posted all over the world including Egypt, Bengal and India. I can remember hearing Churchill’s announcement over the radio and having such an overwhelming feeling of relief. The Army parties we held were incredible, but I just couldn’t wait to get home to Britain to celebrate with my family as I missed them dearly while I was away’.
Maniza Saddique, Activities Coordinator at Lydgate Lodge, said, ‘Our residents are incredibly inspiring. I feel very fortunate to be able to spend time with them and help them to celebrate the 75th anniversary of VE Day. Our residents are very excited to perform their very own rendition of Dame Vera Lynn’s ‘We’ll Meet Again’ live on Facebook for their friends and family, I think it will be a very emotional afternoon!’.
Lydgate Lodge is operated by Ideal Carehomes and has been awarded a ‘Good’ rating by the Care Quality Commission. All 64 bedrooms at the residential care home are en-suite, enabling staff to deliver dignified and person-centred care. Boasting spacious lounges, a hair salon and cinema room, residents enjoy a full programme of health, leisure and wellbeing activities, managed by a dedicated l activities coordinator. To contact Lydgate Lodge, please call Home Manager Gary Kent on 01924 355020 or click here. To follow the home on Facebook for the VE Day celebrations, click here.