Even a pandemic can’t stop the ‘stay at home’ parties

Stretford locals are showing no signs of letting COVID-19 dampen their pride or enthusiasm for honouring the sacrifices of our World War Two heroes.

Led by Stretford Mall and Placemaker Events, the town will be coming together to commemorate the 75th anniversary of VE Day and will honour our World War Two veterans via 'stay at home' parties and activities that the whole community can enjoy in safety. 

It's hoped that the Mall will collect enough bunting to create a beautiful bespoke tribute

The Mall has invited everyone in Stretford to help them decorate the shopping centre via a downloadable 'hero bunting kit.' They're asking residents to decorate the flags with whichever heroes inspire them - be it a war veteran or their very own COVID-19 heroes. As well as making this available to download, the bunting packs have been distributed for people to pick up at the Mall during their essential shopping, or at Placemaker Events HQ. Once completed, the bunting can be dropped off at a specially created postbox at Placemaker Events too. 

2020 05 06 Ve Day Placemaker Events Hq
Placemaker Events HQ - AKA Haylea's house on Baron Road
2020 05 05 Stretford Bug Hotel Kids
Bug Hotel making kits have kept the locals busy

Placemaker Events HQ is the home of local resident Haylea Osborne who created the family focused enterprise, which has become a community hub for Stretford residents since lockdown. Haylea and her daughter Tallulah have been creating activity kits and encouraging passing residents to help themselves in exchange for donations to local charities. 

Their seedlings packs - with seeds provided by Stretford in Bloom - have got Stretford growing; bug hotel making kits and bird bug bingo cards created by the Mall have got locals exploring their gardens and local areas; and now Haylea is collecting hero bunting at the VE Day Postbox she's set up. She will also be hosting a cake sale on VE Day (Friday 8th May) to raise money for Trafford Veterans Community Group. As her house on Baron Road is en route to Stretford Meadows, most residents pass it during their daily exercise, so it's hoped that the Mall will collect enough bunting to create a beautiful bespoke tribute to World War Two veterans.

2020 05 05 Stretford Ve Day Cocktail Head Bar
Grown-ups can make their own special VE Day-inspired cocktail

In the lead up to VE Day, the Mall will be giving residents lots of hints and tips on how to create the perfect stay at home VE Day party, as retailers and the local community come together to help Stretford celebrate and honour the day. 

All of this will be shared via Stretford Mall's social media channels (Instagram, Twitter and Facebook) and, alongside all the other activity, is designed to get the community inspired and thinking about VE Day and how they can best mark this hugely important occasion. 

2020 05 05 Placemaker Hq Seedlings Ve Day
Seeds provided by Stretford in Bloom

Stretford’s VE Day celebrations include:

● Victory Curls by Georgie from the Mall's community cafe Uplift - Georgie will provide a 'how to' video demo on creating victory curls so residents can get the authentic, vintage 40s hair look

● Vintage Cocktails by Head Bar - Owner of Head Bar James Gibson and his mixology team have created a special VE Day-inspired cocktail, with a focus on ingredients that people are likely to have in their cupboards, for residents to make at home to toast World War Two heroes

● Local Lindy Hop Dancing - There will be guidance on how to get 40s style lindy hopping on the big day

● VE Day Soundtrack by Dr Sid - Manchester vintage DJ Dr Sid has curated a special VE Day-inspired playlist for the Stretford Mall Spotify channel so residents can get into the 1940s mood throughout the day

2020 05 05 Stretford Ve Day

An afternoon tea hamper has also been created thanks to donations from local Trafford businesses and will be delivered to World War Two veterans in Trafford to ensure they have the perfect toast on the day. 

At 3pm, residents are being encouraged to stand outside and join the nation's toast as the community says THANK YOU Stretford-style.

For more info on what's happening for VE Day in your area, check your local council website 

Read: Imperial War Museums to mark VE Day with Voices of War ‘soundscape’

Read more: Warth Mills: The Bury WWII internment camp that time forgot