VE Day Celebrations in Barnard Castle

To mark the 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe Day (VE Day), our friend and Funny Way To Be Comedy promoter Peter Dixon shares these photos and writes:

I obtained these two photographs from the late Parkin Raine (taken by local photographer Leslie Greenwood) of VE Day Celebrations in Baliol Street Barnard Castle.

They were used in the The Castle Players programme for their 1998 production of Much Ado About Nothing (set in the 1940s) alongside an article by the late Alan Wilkinson. Alan said at the time there were two sorts of celebrations – the first a spontaneous unofficial ones like this and secondly in 1946 there were the official thanksgiving ones remembering those who lost their lives.

That included 8,000 people watching the Barnard Castle Victory Meet procession, in May 1946, which was followed by a Grand Dance.

Alan also wrote a little bit more in the article about the night at Whit 1946 (the second phase of the VE Celebrations) including the following:

The day ended with a Grand Dance in Witham Hall, and when the President of the Meet, Councillor G.A. (“Tommy”) Carter arrived, the music stopped and dancers formed an avenue through which he walked to the stage while the whole assembly, accompanied by the band, sang “He’s a jolly good fellow.”