A COUNCIL found an alternative way to mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day by using local radio station Witney Radio.

With the Government lockdown still in place to prevent the spread of coronavirus, Witney Town Council has reviewed its plans to celebrate the historic anniversary on Friday, May 8.

The council has worked with local radio station, Witney Radio, to form a broadcast that includes both local and national events.

The Voicebox Choir, for example, was due to lead a ‘big sing’ in the Market Square, and has now recorded a special concert for the radio station.

Alongside this, the council has created a dedicated web page for VE Day.

Mayor Duncan Enright said: “Witney Town Council has been making preparations for our VE Day celebrations for some time, though things are no longer possible as they were originally planned.

“We will be remembering the sacrifice of those who won our peace, at a time when we are all making sacrifices for the health of our world and marking this anniversary in our own homes instead of out together in the streets.

“I am confident that the people of Witney will be celebrating VE Day with a mix of characteristic good cheer and respect, while maintaining social distancing, keeping themselves safe and looking forward to when we can all get together again.”

Witney Radio broadcast a host of recordings, including: The Last Post; Battle’s O’er; Winston Churchill’s speech, and a toast to the heroes of the Second World War, read by Mr Enright.

Later on in the day, Squadron Leader Allan Scott spoke about his time as a spitfire pilot, and Witney town crier Jean Postlethwaite-Dixon led a cry for peace around the world.

The day ended with a ringing out for peace as a selection of church bells from Witney and West Oxfordshire which rang.

Barry Clack, director of Witney Radio said: “The coronavirus emergency and consequent Government guidance means that we won’t be able to see the type of celebrations that Witney deserves this VE Day.

“Witney Radio felt strongly that we should not miss out on these celebrations but instead stay at home and celebrate this historic day.

“Witney Radio broadcast content which residents can listeners enjoyed to honour those who served us in the past and allow those of us unable to be together to share in this celebration.”
Witney Radio broadcasts to Witney & surrounding villages in West Oxfordshire on 99.9fm and online at www.999.radio

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