VE Day 2020
2020 marks 75 years since VE Day and some of us still have grandparents that were there to celebrate 75 years ago. The UK had plans set for a day of street parties and procession’s down the Mall, but due to lockdown the plans have had to change. Some villages and towns are planning to host a social distancing street party, where households sit in their gardens or driveways and have an English picnic. If your town or village is not taking part in a street party there are a few things you can do, which will be fun for all the family!
To make bunting, all you need is some paper (or cardboard), string (or ribbon) and felt
tips or paints. Cut the paper into triangles or turn the paper to a landscape position and cut in half. Fold the top of the paper about 2cm and place the string within the fold. Draw on your design and let dry. If you are planning to hang your bunting outside you can spay the bunting with spray glue or stick cling film to the paper, this will make it waterproof incase of rain!
Make a Cream Tea
Cream tea has always been a true British past time, so much so that Morrison’s and a few other small businesses have put together a cream tea box to celebrate VE Day. If you are unable to get hold of the cream tea box, then why not make your own full of scones, mini sandwiches and tea or some bubbly for the adults. BBC Good Food has a fun and easy scone recipe for you to try.
225g self-rising flour
¼ tsp salt
50g slightly salted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces.
25g golden caster sugar
4 tbsp full-fat milk
a little extra flour for dusting
strawberry jam and clotted cream to serve
1. Preheat the oven to 220C/gas 7/fan 200C and lightly butter a baking sheet (unless you are using a non-stick sheet). Tip the flour into a mixing bowl with the salt. Shoot in the butter, then rub together with your fingers to make a reasonably fine crumbed mixture, lifting to aerate the mixture as you go. Try not to over rub, as the mixture will be lighter if it is a little bit flaky. Now stir in the sugar.
2. Measure the buttermilk, then mix in the milk to slacken it. Make a bit of a well in the middle of the flour mixture with a round-bladed knife, then pour in most of this
buttermilk mixture, holding a little bit back in case it is not needed. Using the knife, gently work the mixture together until it forms a soft, almost sticky, dough. Work in any loose dry bits of mixture with the rest of the buttermilk. Do not overwork at this point or you will toughen the dough.
3. Lift the ball of soft dough out of the bowl and put it on to a very lightly floured surface. Knead the mixture just 3-4 times to get rid of the cracks.
4. Pat the dough gently with your hands to a thickness of no less than 2cm and no more than 2.5cm. Dip a 5.5cm round fluted cutter into a bowl of flour – this helps to stop the dough sticking to it, then cut out the scones by pushing down quickly and firmly on the cutter with the palm of your hand – don’t twist it. You will hear the dough give a big sigh as the cutter goes in. Gather the trimmings lightly then pat and cut out a couple more scones.
5. Place on the baking sheet and sift over a light dusting of flour or glaze if you wish. Bake for 10-12 minutes until risen and golden. Cool on a wire rack, uncovered if you prefer crisp tops, or covered loosely with a cloth for soft ones.
6. Serve with strawberry jam and a generous mound of clotted cream (Cornish people put jam first, then cream, Devonians the other way round). Eat them as fresh as you can.
What else is going on
As a Nation we love to watch TV with the family. The BBC has a full schedule of programmes to celebrate the day. On Thursday 7th May there will be a special documentary about WW2’s national sweetheart Dame Vera Lynn, about her career and how she entertained the troops whilst abroad.
On Friday 8th May, the schedule will begin at 11am with a 2-minute silence to remember those who lost their life during the War. At 2.45pm they will play the Announcement of Victory and Winston Churchill’s historic speech.
The people Celebration concert will be aired on BBC one at 8pm hosted at The Albert Hall, with an empty audience. Katherine Jenkins and Beverley Knight will be
preforming, and we will hear first-hand experiences of what it was like on the day. To finish off, The Queens speech will be broadcast to the Nation at 9pm, the exact same time her father King George VI, spoke to the UK 75 years ago.
Channel 5 has put together a special programme called The Lost films. A Collection of rarely seen clips from amateur filmmakers that shows you the mood in Britain on that historic day. You may all know the name – Captain Tom, The Hero from WW2 who has raised over £30 Million for the NHS during lockdown by walking 100 laps of his garden before his birthday. Well, ITV have put together a programme call Captain Tom’s War, in this one-off documentary we will be able to hear from Captain Tom himself and listen to his memories of working with allied troops during WW2.
The programmes do not stop there. There will be other dedicated programmes on Saturday and Sunday. Channel 4 is showing VE day in colour, showing restored clips of the day on Saturday at 7pm and for those Antiques Roadshow lovers, they are airing a special VE dedicated episode on Sunday, BBC 1 at 7.15pm.
Home schooling Activities
For those of you who are home schooling children or siblings there are many websites
out there offering information on VE Day. GoodtoKnow and the British School
websites have a whole list of facts and activities that you can teach your children after the bank holiday.