THE BIGGEST street party Bromsgrove has ever seen will be held on May 10 next year to commemorate the 75th anniversary of VE Day.
The £30,000 extravaganza will see the whole High Street and Worcester Road closed from The Strand to the Black Cross.
The party is the brainchild of Jules Evans, is being led by Bromsgrove’s Royal British Legion and backed by the district council.
Planning and fund-raising is already under way and the organisers have launched an appeal for volunteers to help out on the day.
A bandstand will be constructed by the Housman statue which will host the first event – a recreation of the church service held at Westminster Abbey in 1945 for VE Day. It is being organised by Bromsgrove Churches Together and will be led by Rev Ray Khan. The bandstand will also feature live entertainment throughout the day.
The area outside the Golden Cross will be transformed into a park area with artificial turf. A big screen there will broadcast news reels from the war years, along with films, including The Dambusters and The Longest Day. One of the films will have its soundtrack performed by a full live orchestra.
Nearby tonnes of sand will see a beach created with deckchairs and traditional seaside fun, such as Punch and Judy. Redditch and Bromsgrove CAMRA will also be running a bar from the Friday to the Sunday.
Outside Argos there will be a live music stage featuring music from the 1940s and the organisers will be hiring the council’s market gazebos along the High Street for community organisations and charities to hire. The fees will go to the Bromsgrove Royal British Legion and there will be prizes for the best-dressed stall and a VE Day-themed shop window.
Stalls will sell food from countries from around the World which were allied with the UK and people are being urged to bring food to share for a Bromsgrove VE Day Big Lunch as part of the commemorations.
Hair and make-up experts will help people take their images back to the 1940s and the Friends of St John will have their ever-popular photo-booth.
In the run up to the party, the organisers also want to hear from anyone with memories, stories and photographs about the Bromsgrove war years – whether they be veterans who have served, families of veterans, those on the home front and people who helped build planes at Longbridge.
They will be recorded and a magazine is being planned to safeguard all the memories for the future.
Anyone who wants to volunteer, anyone with further ideas and anyone wanting to fund-raise should email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
‘Let’s Party Like it’s 1945!’ Podcast
VE DAY party organiser Jules Evans joined us on this week’s Bromsgrove Standard Podcast.