Daventry Remembers: VE Day Celebrations at home

It is 75 years ago this May that after 6 years of war victory was declared in Europe. Sadly, due to the current pandemic the town’s plans have been put on hold and we all find ourselves needing to stay apart whilst celebrating together. Our social media pages and that of the Town Council will be live on the day sharing virtual events that you can take part in. Daventry Town Council’s > website has a full itinerary for the day and lots of great ideas of how to celebrate. Meanwhile, Daventry Museum has delved into it’s archives and called on favours from friends local and not so local, to help provide some Wartime music for the occasion.

So put on your 1940s glad-rags, brew a good cuppa and enjoy VE Day at home, after all, “We’ll Meet Again” soon.

Although the museum archives are filled with wonderful photographs of the war time period, only a few are from VE Day itself – so should your family have any that you would like to share with us we would love to see them, just email the museum. A lovely volunteer Amy Simpson has put our photographs together in a > montage of images as #DaventryRemembers accompanied with music recorded and arranged by local musicians Robert & Sue Jennens and David Schofield, thank you!

Listen to more music from Robert, Sue and David to celebrate the 75th anniversary of VE Day…

“Take Me Back to Dear Old Blighty.”Audio Player00:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.

“A Nightingale Sang on Berkeley Square.”Audio Player

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Music and news delivered to the public by way of radio were essential during the war and Daventry’s radio transmitting history dates back to 1925. Prior to the BBC starting its Long Wave service from Borough Hill in Daventry, an experimental Long Wave transmitter was set up at the Marconi works in New Street, Chelmsford. Two tall masts dominated the town and the service started on 21st July 1924, a year before Daventry took over, and it proved the viability of Long Wave for long distance reception. On March the 14th 1925, the Chelmsford signal became the first recorded trans-Atlantic programme. Picked up in Belfast, Maine it was re-broadcast and recorded by station WJZ in New York. (RCA historical recording). This historic trans-Atlantic link was repeated using the Daventry transmitter on January the 1st 1926 and another recording made.

It seems fitting therefore that we asked Chelmsford based vintage vocal harmony group Fox Wiggle & Sass to share a musical recording, they kindly agreed and shared a video of >“We’ll Meet Again” and sent beautiful rendition of “White Cliffs of Dover” (play below), thank you ladies!Audio Player

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Museum’s all over the country are helping us to celebrate at home; the Imperial War Museum for instance is asking households to take a moment out of their day on 8th May to listen to it’s four minute ‘Voices of War’ soundscape which will share first-hand accounts of VE Day from the museum’s vast sound archives.

Kettering Museum and Art Gallery have lots of activities and virtual celebrations planned from 8th -10th May online and across their social media as part of their ‘VE 75’ exhibition.

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