Civic and Ceremonial

VE Day 75

To those who gave so much, we thank you.

Join us online to commemorate and celebrate VE Day 75 from the 8 to 10 May 2020.


Virtual Exhibition     -     Activities and Downloads

Please note: The following videos will only be viewable from their assigned times.

Friday 8 May 2020 

Time  Activity 

Introduction and Welcome to Mid and East Antrim Borough Council Virtual VE Day 75 Commemoration and Celebration


Moment of silence


Message from Rt Hon Arlene Foster MLA, First Minister of Northern Ireland


Cookery Demonstration ‘Dishes from 1945’
by CSgt Mike Beaton, Royal Marines


Extracts from Winston Churchill’s speeches of 8 May 1945


‘Last Post and Reveille’
by Band of the Royal Irish


‘Battles O’er and VE 75 Years’
by Bugles, Pipes and Drums of the 2nd Battalion, Royal Irish Regiment

followed by:Toast to the Nation 


Silver Poppy Recipients

by Band of the Royal Irish and Bugles, Pipes and Drums of the 2nd Battalion, Royal Irish Regiment


VE Day Poem - Unmentioned in Despatches
Read by Mr George Horner

You can download a copy of this poem on the VE Day 75 website


'Band of Brothers'
by the Band of the RAF Regiment



Cry for Peace 
by Her Majesty's Lord Lieutenant of County Antrim, Mr David McCorkell

You can download a copy of A Cry for Peace Around the World from the VE Day 75 website


Ringing out for Peace


Following Her Majesty The Queen’s address to the Nation:

Sing-a-long with Dame Vera Lynn's ‘We’ll meet Again’ 

If you can't watch the nationwide showing on television then we have a special showing below from local ladies: The Swingtime Starlets!

They are performing 'We'll Meet Again' before giving you the chance to kick up your feet and jive along to Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy.

And you can keep dancing as we also have a special performance by Swing Gals who are singing Tico Tico.


Saturday 9 May

VEDay75MEA garden parties

#stayhomesavelives #VEDay75MEA

Time Activity

Entertainments National Service Association Medley
by Band of Her Majesty's Royal Marines

Sunday 10 May

Time  Activity 

Tribute to the Millions
followed by

The National Anthem
Performed by the Massed Bands of Her Majesty's Royal Marines Beating Retreat on Horse Guard Parade in 2018.

Virtual Exhibition

When Germany announced that they had signed an unconditional surrender to the Allies on Monday 7 May, Tuesday and Wednesday were declared national holidays. 

Tuesday’s weather throughout the region was pleasant and from early morning people were out in the streets of Ballymena preparing for the festivities. 

The few radios that were owned by families in the region were kept on and at 3pm people gathered around them to hear Winston Churchill’s Victory Speech and the official announcement of the end of hostilities.  In Ballymena, for the first time since 1940, the bells of St Patrick’s Church of Ireland rang out confirming Churchill’s announcement. Services of thanksgiving were held in all the churches in the town.

At 9pm that evening King George VI broadcast to the Empire, thanking those who obtained victory and asking the people to observe the following Sunday 13 May ‘as a day of thanksgiving and prayer’

Bonfires lit up the night sky in Ballymena, Carrickfergus and Larne and the partying continued until after midnight.  In Ballymena, the gas streetlights were lit and the two town cinemas were floodlit in stark contrast to the dark and dangerous nights of the ‘black-out’ and the ‘dim-out’, which was in force during the last year of the war.

Councillor Johnny Morrow, who had a draper’s shop in Bridge Street, organised a dance in the Town Hall with proceeds going to the Ballymena and District Victory Fund. Music was provided by the Dance Timers Band. The waltz, quickstep and foxtrot were performed in Bridge Street, Castle Street and Mill Street. Around midnight, a heavy shower sent the dancers back to the Town Hall where they continued until 2.30 am.

Use the arrows to scroll through the images.

VE Day 75 - Larne Museum
Larne Museum and Arts Centre


VE Day 75 - Mid Antrim Museum
Mid-Antrim Museum


VE Day 75 - Carrickfergus Museum
Carrickfergus Museum


Activities and downloads

How to design your own VE Day 75 Bunting.

When preparing for your ‘Stay at Home Garden Party’, why not use our simple template to make your own bunting to display on windows.

You will need:

  • Bunting template
  • Scissors
  • String or ribbon
  • Tape or glue
  • Paints, glitter, stickers, pens, crayons, old cards, magazines or whatever you can find around the house to add some colour!

How to guide:

  1. Print off around 10 of the Bunting template on to A4 paper.
  2. Leave section ‘A’ blank, as this will flap over to keep your string or ribbon in place.
  3. Get creative and decorate the section ‘B’ triangle!
  4. Cut out your Bunting flags along the dotted line and set out in a row with some space between each.
  5. Cut enough string or ribbon to make your Bunting, leaving good space between each flag and adequate at the end for hanging.
  6. Once the string is set on the flags, fold over the blank section ‘A’ flap on each and fix with tape or glue.
  7. Now you have your colourful Bunting, please safely hang on windows or doorways for all your neighbours to see.

Bunting Template

Add your words of thanks to the Royal British Legion VE Day message board

To mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day, the RBL have created a message board so you can join in to remember, celebrate and honour brave men and women of World War 2 and our Armed Forces community.

You can view some of the inspiring messages from their supporters.

Leave your VE Day message

Learn about VE Day

As the national champion of Remembrance the Royal British Legion is committed to ensuring that Remembrance is understood and available to every child and community in the UK.

Understanding our shared heritage of Remembrance helps bring communities together, and ensures that we recognise the service and sacrifice of past and present generations.

VE Day learning resources

Retro recipes: 10 Thrifty wartime dishes

The Reader's Digest has published some thrifty wartime dishes for everyone to try.

Their resident foodie Karen Burns-Booth takes you through her favourite vintage wartime recipes, not just for the historical interest they evoke, but for health and thrift reasons too.

Get cooking

Heritage Party Pack

English Heritage have created a special VE Day 75 Party Pack available for free!

The celebration pack includes recipes for tasty 1940s dishes to serve your guests, a VE Day poster to spread the word about your party (at home of course!), invitations to send to your immediate family (social distancing!), lyrics to popular 1940s songs, and tips for dancing the Lindy hop swing!

Download the Party Pack

Great British Bunting

The BBC are seeking contributions to their Make a Difference project so be sure to visit their website to see how you can get involved!

Due to the coronavirus restrictions most VE Day 75 events and street parties have had to be cancelled or postponed but we still want you to be able to mark the occasion, share your pride in our country and honour the men and women of WW2.

You can make your own special VE Day 75 ‘Great British Bunting’ to display in your window at home.

The BBC have all the instructions you need to get started using any paper, cereal boxes, string, ribbon, sweet wrappers, felt pens, poster paint you have or whatever you can find.

Great British Bunting