VE Day in Topsham by Joy Turrell

VE Day in Topsham

Joy Turrell was sixteen in May 1945, and years later she wrote about VE Day here in Topsham:

‘When the news (came) that the war in Europe was over the whole street went wild as did everyone else in Britain. People were hugging and kissing each other, tears of happiness were overflowing and of course there had to be a celebration.

We youngsters went out collecting greenery from the Bowling Green Marshes to hang on walls and window sills. Flags and bunting were hastily hung across the streets and everyone joined in a large party.

By evening most people were tipsy or well on the way. The pubs were open all hours, but I think the most exciting thing of all was when it got dark.

Everyone had taken down their blackouts and opened doors and windows. For the first time in five years there were lights shining out into the streets. It was wonderful, just like fairyland. On the corner of North Street and Shapter Street lived Mr and Mrs Copland and their windows were next to the street so they opened them wide and put the wireless on full blast and everyone was dancing outside. Mrs Alford from the King’s Head came out with packets of crisps for the children and free drinks were flowing everywhere. It was like Christmas Day, New Year’s Day and all the bank holidays rolled into one

It was early next morning when we finally went home to bed. From my bedroom window I could see the houses at the top of Monmouth Street and Altamira House. There were lights 2shining everywhere. Going to bed that night with the sounds of dancing still coming from the end of the street I wondered, what would tomorrow be like?’

Does anyone recognise any of the faces?
Do you have your own or family memories of VE Day that you’d like to share? We’d love to hear from you!