Skies above Sunderland are lit up for VE Day

Sunderland celebrated the 70th anniversary of VE Day (Victory in Europe) with beacons of light being lit up around Seaham.

The anniversary marked the Allied Forces victory in Europe during the Second World War on Friday, May 8.

To commemorate this great event, more than 200 gas fuelled beacons were lit around the country, with Cliffe Park in Seaburn chosen as the venue in Sunderland.

Paul Fletcher, of Seaham Town Council, said: “We made our own V-shaped beacon and it was a good event, having it lit next to the Mission 1101 sculpture ‘Tommy’.”

The beacon in Cliffe Park was lit by Tom Hold, 94, who was representing veteran’s groups from across the city, and Sunderland Mayor Councillor Stuart Porthouse.

Mr Hold, who was part of the Airborne Glider Division that took part in the D-Day landings and served in the Baltic when VE Day was declared, said: “We should never forget how important both VE and D-Day are in our history, and the tremendous sacrifice made by all those who took part.”

Neil Revely, Sunderland City Council Executive Director of People Services, said:  “We can never underestimate how important VE Day is and all appreciate that the 70th Anniversary is something that we should all celebrate.

“And what better backdrop than Cliffe Park and our wonderful coastline.”

Bruno Peek, event organiser of the 70th Anniversary VE Day Beacons, said: “We should never forget VE Day.

“And young people should never forget the sacrifices made by the older generation to allow them to celebrate the freedom we have today.”

The free event included live music from the main stage, small fairground rides, arts and crafts,​ local cadet forces representing all three senior services and Second World War exhibitions.

The Beacon at Cliffe Park remained lit for an hour.

Picture: North News
Picture: North News

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