How York will mark the 70th anniversary of VE Day

Prime Minster Winson Churchill salutes the crowds in London on VE Day, May 8, 1945
7 May 2015 @ 4.53 pm
| History, News

Friday marks the 70th anniversary of VE Day – and York will mark the occasion in silence, sound and light.

Victory In Europe Day on May 8, 1945 followed the unconditional surrender of German forces, and marked the end of the Second World War in Europe.

Seventy years laters more than 200 beacons are being lit around the country to commemorate this historic moment.

York’s beacon will be lit at 9.32pm on Friday at Triangular Gardens, Leeman Road at Triangular Gardens, Leeman Road – between Memorial Gardens and the Royal York Hotel.

At 3pm the same day, City of York Council is encouraging residents and businesses across the city to hold a two minute silence, marking the moment Winston Churchill broadcast his historic speech formally announcing the end of the war.

Lord Mayor of York Cllr Ian Gillies said:

This promises to be a special event and it is important that we as a city mark this important day in the country’s history. As well as marking this milestone the event will also look to remember those who sacrificed so much to protect our freedom.

Let the bells ring out

On Sunday (May 10) it will be the turn of York Minster’s bell ringers to mark the anniversary.

As part of a nationwide event the team of ten bell ringers will ring a quarter peal at 2.45pm.

The ringing of church bells was a key part of VE Day. Peter Sanderson, York Minster ringing master, said:

We’re proud to be joining cathedrals and churches across the country to mark this momentous day. We hope people visiting York Minster and the wider city will enjoy listening to the bells and take a moment to remember those who gave their lives during the conflict.

The York Minster bell ringers will start to ring the quarter peal at 2.45pm and finish just before the cathedral’s Evensong service at 4pm.