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V.E. Day May 8th & 9th Thanksgiving Day May 14th
V.E. Day May 8th & 9th Thanksgiving Day May 14th

V.E. Day May 8th & 9th Thanksgiving Day May 14th 1945

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V.E. Day May 8th & 9th Thanksgiving Day May 14th 1945


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V.E. Day May 8th & 9th Thanksgiving Day May 14th 1945

9 mins England

As Victory in Europe is officially declared by Churchill at 3pm on May 8th 1945, an off-duty policeman captures stunning Kodachrome film of the celebrations in Gateshead - flags and bunting strung between terraces, and jubilant women and children (and a few men) gathered for street parties, waving defiant teapots after years of wartime blackouts, bombs and ration cards. On Thanksgiving Day crowds cheer on a grand civic and military procession through Saltwell Park.

Also caught in monochrome by John W. McHugh of the Gateshead Police Photographic Unit, a Victory bonfire burns at night on Windmill Hill, a public park with panoramic views over the River Tyne, gifted to the people of Gateshead on 18th November 1861, but long used for communal entertainment such as Hoppings at Whitsun in 1829. The rare colour footage of VE Day celebrations, filmed in West Gateshead down terraced streets (Fleming Street, Askew Road) since demolished, features as a stand in for the ‘mean streets’ of Liverpool at the end of World War Two in Martin Scorsese’s documentary on The Beatles pop star George Harrison, Living in the Material World (2011).

North East Film Archive is one of a network of regional film archives established to collect, preserve and show film made in, or about the North East of England. Our collections are non-fiction, and date from the early 1900s to the present day, providing a rich record of life in the region over the 20th century. Many of our films are available to watch, free of charge, on our website.




World War II Children Festivals Street parties


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