50 year VE Celebrations

Photo:Page 1 of the Programme

Page 1 of the Programme

Events organised for the period 5th to 8th May 1995

Extracted highlights from articles in the Orwell Bulletin of June 1995

Orwell's VE day Celebrations May 5th to 8th 1995

From the first performance of the Orwell Players' Revue “Workers' Playtime” to the singing of God Save the Queen at midnight on VE day as the Village Hall dance came to an end, everything went as planned – thanks to the hard work and enthusiasm of so many Orwellians, to the beautiful weather, and above all to the inspiration of Diana Smith and Mitch Thomson who promoted the whole idea.

The VE Committee was chaired by Diana Smith, with Mitch Thomson as fund raiser, Roy Primett as Treasurer, and the various village organisations being represented by Gerry Arnold, Bob Bryant, Claire Course, Georgie Primett, Jake Ritsema, David and Sue Miller.

countless people made this weekend a success

Thanks are also due to countless people who made this weekend such a happy success. As many as possible are acknowledged in the separate page, linked from here, and if anyone is omitted, they will surely not be forgotten.

A message from the VE Chairwoman Di Smith

It now seems incredible that last December, when I wrote to all the societies in Orwell asking them to attend a meeting in the Village Hall to discuss plans for a VE Celebration, I was actually worried that either nobody would attend or, if they did, that there might not be an enthusiastic response.

How wrong I was! Not only were people that attended that meeting bubbling over with enthusiasm and ideas, but they very cleverly elected a Committee capable of organising the celebrations in Hyde Park and to whom the organising of the Orwell Celebrations would be a piece of cake, albeit made very carefully and with choice ingredients.

Photo:Page 2 of the Programme

Page 2 of the Programme

Photo:Page 3 of the Programme

Page 3 of the Programme

Photo:Page 4 of the Programme

Page 4 of the Programme







The Committee are all aware that without the wholehearted participation by our unique village, all their plans would have come to naught. However, they are all far too modest to put themselves forward, and as joint Chairman of the VE Committee I would like to take this opportunity to 'name names', and thank all the members for their support and hard work during the five months of planning leading up to our very special weekend.

Workers' Playtime enjoyed by an audience of nearly 300

Mitch Thomson (joint Chairman) also jointly wrote and directed the 'Workers' Playtime Revue' enjoyed by an audience of nearly 300 and was tireless in his badgering of local companies. Through his efforts very generous donations were made by the following: JC Cobb & Sons, Mantles, PCB Construction, IC Rumbold, WP Smith & Sons, and Volac. Orwell Parish Council were also very generous in their support, as was The Chequers Pub.

Bob Bryant and Clare Course jointly organised the magnificent fete and Clare also organised the Guides and Scouts to make all the bunting that so wonderfully decked the village throughout the celebrations and added so much to the atmosphere.

Georgie Primett, with a little help from Roy (who was also the Treasurer), organised the best carnival parade in the whole of England, with twenty-seven floats and displays taking part and, with so much time on her hands, also organised the Street Party attended by hundreds including over 70 children.

lighting of the Beacon as the sun slowly dipped

Gerry Arnold was the prime mover in organising the VE Dance, and the Beacon! - Nobody who attended the two minutes silence followed by the lighting of the Beacon in the Clunch Pit as the sun slowly began to dip below the horizon could fail to have been moved.

Sue Miller, with assistance from Jake Ritzema representing Meadowcroft and Lordship Communities organised the 'Home Front' exhibition in Lordship Community Centre. Many Orwellians were spotted leaving the Centre wiping a tear from their eyes, and the exhibition gently emphasised how lucky we are to live in a time of Peace. In addition to supporting Sue, David Miller also proved to be an invaluable Secretary, reminding the Committee of what they had said, and when, and ensuring that we turned up to the meetings!

wonderful Thanksgiving Service, standing room only

Neil Brice and David Theaker conducted a wonderful Thanksgiving Service with standing room only in the Parish Church and the weather was so magnificent throughout the weekend, Neil may have had something to do with that too.

All the Committee worked hard and, with many friends, helped with every aspect of the Celebration Weekend. I know they would now all wish to join with me in thanking the whole village for enthusiastically joining in, supporting and helping to make the Celebration a weekend to remember.

Thank you Orwell,

Diana Smith (Joint Chairman VE Committee)

Set out below is a gallery of photographs recording this memorable celebration:

Photo:Nancy and Derek Skipper

Nancy and Derek Skipper

Photo:Dancers outside the Chequers

Dancers outside the Chequers

Photo:The Chequers Tank in Parade

The Chequers Tank in Parade

Photo:The Street Party

The Street Party

Photo:Sue Miller in the Parade

Sue Miller in the Parade

Photo:First Orwell Guides in Parade

First Orwell Guides in Parade

Photo:Tug of War, Recreation ground

Tug of War, Recreation ground

Photo:Methodist Church Float in Parade

Methodist Church Float in Parade

Photo:Orwell Horticultural Float at Parade

Orwell Horticultural Float at Parade

Photo:The IC Rumbold float in the Parade

The IC Rumbold float in the Parade

Photo:Traction engine in Parade

Traction engine in Parade

Photo:Clive Flack and choldren in Parade

Clive Flack and choldren in Parade

Photo:Alan Neaves with captain, in Parade

Alan Neaves with captain, in Parade



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