Beacon to mark 70th anniversary of VE Day

A VE Day beacon will be lit in Peterborough to mark the 70th anniversary of peace in Europe following WWII.

It will be part of a chain of beacons that will be lit throughout the UK to commemorate the day.

The beacon will be lit at 9.30pm on Friday 8 May outside the Town Hall on Bridge Street. Ahead of the lighting ceremony there will be a civic procession attended by city dignitaries and members of the Royal British Legion. The beacon will remain lit for about an hour and will be extinguished no later than 10.30pm.

Earlier in the day at 3pm there will be a two minute silence observed at the war memorial on Bridge Street. Ahead of the silence there will be civic procession with Royal British Legion standard bearers. The Reverend Canon Ian Black (Vicar of St John’s) will conduct the silence and give the Final Prayer and Blessing.

The silence will mark the exact moment that Prime Minister Winston Churchill broadcast his historic speech to formally announce the end of war in Europe 70 years ago.

Members of the public are encouraged to come to either or both events to pay their tributes.

The Mayor of Peterborough, Councillor David Over, said: “We cannot let this day pass without reflecting on the sacrifice and courage of the people who saw us through this period in our history. This should be a celebration of peace - a time to remember and pay tribute to all those who played their part in achieving it.

“I would encourage all to come down to witness the lighting of the beacon on Bridge Street so you can pay tribute, and to celebrate the peace that was achieved 70 years ago.”

Peterborough City Council has been working in partnership with the Royal British Legion to organise the event.

In 1995, beacons were also lit to mark half a century since VE Day on 8 May 1945.

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