VE Day 2020
8th May 2020 was originally planned to be a day of remembrance and celebration by the whole Bleasby community. However, with the Covid 19 virus infection risks, Government “Lockdown” virus control measures in place, and everyone told to “STAY HOME; PROTECT THE NHS; SAVE LIVES”, all community activities had to be cancelled.
One of the activities that had been planned was for wreaths to be laid at both the Bleasby Aircrews Memorial, and the War Memorial at St Marys Church in time to mark the nationwide period of two minute silence at 11.00am. Fortunately, the original wreaths that had been laid at the Dedication Event in 2018 were all available. However, requests had been received from some of the relatives of airmen whose names are recorded on the Memorial for new wreaths to be laid for them, as with lockdown, they were unable to attend to do this personally. With florists only having limited availability of flowers, one new wreath was made by Minster Florists in Southwell, and two others were made from available fresh flowers picked from village gardens.
In order to comply with the “social distancing” restrictions, and avoid any form of public gathering, it was decided to ask families with children to take their period of family exercise at five minute selected intervals during which time their children would be given a wreath to lay at the Memorial. Participating families were asked to keep the planned activity confidential. Everyone arrived at the Memorial at their allocated time, the children received a short briefing, collected their wreath, and then laid it with due dignity around the Memorial. Social distancing was maintained throughout. At 11.00 am, with the wreaths in position, two minutes silence was announced by the ringing of a hand bell. Families who had remained at the Glebe Field stood in respectful silence. The “All Clear” was then sounded using an original portable air raid alarm.
The activity was attended by a BBC East Midlands television crew, and several participants were interviewed, including some of the children. It was a very moving and memorable day.
Families had decorated the Glebe Field fence with coloured decorations and messages that they had made. Eight static may-pole dancers also witnessed the morning activities. Not quite how the day was supposed to be, but nevertheless a most memorable one.
The afternoon bought "stay ay home" street parties to the parish of Bleasby......along with the BBC reporting on the local news : click here to see BBC footage on Facebook