Witney to Commemorate 75 Years of Peace

VE Day 75th Anniversary poster

Witney is planning to embrace a 1940s vibe on Friday 8th May. The Town Council is delighted to be hosting some live music events on the Market Square. A fantastic Bank Holiday weekend is on the cards as the people of Witney come together to commemorate the 75th anniversary of VE Day


Some events are co-ordinated to take place nationally and internationally and these will be incorporated into our day here in the town.


Events begin at 3pm with the playing of “Battle’s O’er” across the nation by pipers and other musicians from around the world, and this coincides with the nations toast to the Heroes of WW2 as thousands of pubs across the UK encourage customers to raise a glass. We are fortunate to have a good number of pubs and bars central to Witney so we are hoping everyone will be able to have a glass of something in their hand for this!


A bring and share picnic will be taking place on Market Square while we are entertained by Witney Town Band followed by an opportunity to join in with a rousing Big Sing led by Voicebox Choir.


We would love to see shops and businesses get involved by decorating their windows as a backdrop to local events.


At 6.55pm Town Criers and others will take part in a “Cry For Peace” which is being performed around the world and at 7pm bells in churches and cathedrals will ring out in a collective celebration.


Witney will be doing this a little differently as Councillor Owen Collins attempts to orchestrate a whole street full of bells including bicycle and hand bells. In a musical Mexican wave this will begin at High Street and run to the top of Church Green where St Mary’s will ring out a peal of bells as a crescendo. All are welcome to bring a bell and to come and join in with this.


Parties and celebrations will continue into the evening as families and groups organise their own commemorative events.


Witney Town Council is keen for this to be an inclusive and welcoming community event that involves all ages, individuals, businesses and groups who wish to take part and to that end it is offering free use of The Corn Exchange on the Friday evening to any group wishing to organise its own public celebratory event.


We will also be inviting residents to submit their pictures of VE Day via social media pages to try to build a picture of Witney in 1945, which will be displayed in the Corn Exchange foyer over the weekend- times to be confirmed.


While it is a time to remember, reflect and pay tribute to the millions who played such a vital part, both here at home and overseas, it is also a celebration of 75 years of peace. At this time, Witney looks forward to a future of continuing international peace and accord, and we hope the mix of events on the day suitably reflects this.