The beacon at the Victoria Pleasure Ground, Uckfield, which will be lit to celebrate the 70th anniversary of VE Day next month.

Uckfield beacon to be lit to celebrate 70th anniversary of VE Day

A programme of events is being put together for Uckfield residents to mark the 70th anniversary of VE Day and the end of World War 2 in Europe.

It includes lighting the beacon at the Victoria Pleasure Ground which was last aflame in 2012 to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

The programme has been drawn up by Uckfield Town Council following an approach by the local Royal British Legion branch. It will take place over three days from Friday, May 8 to Sunday, 10.

The council’s general purposes committee last night approved a budget of £1,000 towards organising events which would complement national activities.

They include:

Friday, May 8: Two minutes silence and raising of flag (afternoon); tea party (early evening); followed by the lighting of the beacon and firing of firework rockets at 9.30pm.

Saturday, May 9: Pealing of church bells (morning); music and dance concert (evening).

Sunday, May 10: Special church service.

Uckfield Mayor Cllr Ian Smith and Deputy Mayor Cllr Jeremy Hallett are working with Norman Mayers from the Royal British Legion to coordinate the programme.

Cllr Smith said last night that the Uckfield Carnival and Bonfire Society had already agreed to help with lighting the beacon and discussions were under way with band leaders to take part in the concert on the Saturday evening.

General purposes committee chairman Cllr John Carvey said he remembered VE day itself. He was five-years-old and was chosen to carry the Union flag around the streets during the celebrations.

Cllr John Collins said the celebrations didn’t begin in his family until VJ Day because his father was still fighting the Japanese. Victory in Japan was announced on August 15 and an official surrender took place with the signing of a document on September 2, 1945.

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