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Richmond neighbours praise Emily for organising a wonderful VE Day celebration

12 May 2020  |  Jill Lundberg  |  Posted in:

To celebrate the 75th anniversary of VE Day, Emily Treweek, a Year 13 student, organised a wonderful street party. With the help and support of Mrs Stolarski, her next-door-neighbour and our Sixth Form Administrator, Emily ensured the street celebrated in style!

Seventy-five years after Churchill told the nation that war in Europe was finally over, the residents of Richmondshire and in particular two streets of a pre-1939 built garden suburb estate, wanted to mark the anniversary of VE day with the same spirit as the original residents may have done. Unfortunately, due to the lockdown regulations during the Covid-19 pandemic, a street party would be out of the question. As with the rest of the country, an imaginative and safe way to celebrate would need to be found ‘2020 style’.

Emily said: ‘I have lived on this street all my life and have spent countless hours racing round on bikes and scooters. The idea of the street party stemmed from my 18th birthday lockdown celebrations. My mum had made little notes to go in all the doors of people on our street, asking them all to come out at 11 o’clock on my birthday to sing happy birthday and celebrate with me – obviously from a distance! It made my day extra special and showed me just how united we are as a street. I wanted to carry on this community feeling particularly during this time when I know many of my neighbours feel lonely.”

Around a week before the 75th anniversary a conversation was sparked over the back fence between Emily and Mrs Stolarski. Working safely, they put together a plan for a socially distanced street party following the order of events for the day that was being used by many streets nationwide. Thankfully, on the morning of the 8th May it was apparent that the community had embraced the idea of marking the anniversary.

Mrs Stolarski praised Emily, saying: ‘Her planning and hard work brought the estate together and many neighbours expressed their gratitude. I am very pleased that Emily is already thinking of plans to keep the community spirit going. Well done Emily!” Special thanks are also deserved by Holly Treweek and her excellent photography skills.

After observing the two-minute-silence, and listening Churchill’s infamous speech as a community, an afternoon tea followed in the front garden accompanied by the sounds of Glenn Miller band and the Andrews Sisters at 4pm, with neighbours enjoying the same in their front gardens. The highlight of Emily’s day was the afternoon tea, before walking round the street and seeing families sat outside chatting to their neighbours across the way. She said: “Everyone was laughing and smiling and having a wonderful time. It was a great feeling! It was amazing to see all of the efforts people had made to come together and celebrate the day!”

Emily’s sister, and former student at Richmond school, Holly Treweek, managed to capture many of these smiles on her camera. All were willing to become famous in the Richmond School & Sixth Form College newsletter!

It would have been impossible to enjoy street games, so Emily encouraged the children to colour in a piece of bunting and peg their entry onto a ‘washing line’ to decorate the ‘Island,’ as it is known in the middle of the street. Many of them took part, all of the entries were amazing and really brightened things up. Joe Coldwell made a spectacular piece and was crowned the overall winner!

Following afternoon tea, there was a toast to the neighbours, finishing off a very memorable day with many of the street joining in with the national singalong to Dame Vera Lynn’s ‘We’ll meet again’.

We hope you all had a safe and enjoyable VE 75 celebration!

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