75 years ago, on 8th May 1945, millions of people across Europe came together to celebrate the end of World War II. Throughout Great Britain, large street parties were held in towns and villages while crowds gathered in London to see Winston Churchill and King George VI on the balcony of Buckingham Palace.

While plans to commemorate the 75th anniversary of this momentous occasion have sadly been cancelled due to the current restrictions on events and social gatherings, why not make the most of the bank holiday and this time with family to throw a celebration of your own, all from the safety of your home? Here are some of our favourite ideas to help get you started:

Make your own decorations

From posters to flags, getting creative with your own DIY decorations is a great activity for the whole family to get involved in. You could even make your very own ‘Great British Bunting’ using this guide from BBC local radio; all you need is some paper or card, string, and any colouring pencils, paint, stickers and other craft supplies you have to hand.

Get baking

No celebration is complete without a cake, and what could be more patriotic than a Victoria Sponge? Or how about an afternoon tea with finger sandwiches, sausage rolls, and scones with plenty of jam and cream? You could even show off your creative skills with a family cake decorating competition; the more icing and sprinkles, the better!

Have a garden party or picnic

Although the iconic VE Day street parties can’t be recreated this year, garden parties and picnics are a great alternative as a way of celebrating at home. String up your homemade bunting and wave your flags while you enjoy the results of your baking efforts, and make the most of any sunshine the Great British weather gives us!

However you decide to celebrate on VE Day, head over to our Facebook page to enter our competition and be in with a chance of winning one of five great prizes.

Corby during the war

During the 1940s, the Corby Steelworks were a huge part of our growing industrial town and the site was expected to be a target during the Second World War. Luckily, Corby remained fairly unscathed thanks to a tactical decision to burn oil and latex to form a dense black cloud over the town, which overpowered the glowing furnaces. Thanks to this cleverly devised plan, the steelworks were able to continue operating, adding to the war effort by manufacturing steel tubes for Operation Pluto, a pipe line under the ocean that would supply fuel to Allied forces on the continent.

To the northwest of our town, Eyebrook Reservoir also played a significant part in WW2. Originally formed to supply water to the growing steelworks, the reservoir became the ideal practice site for the Dambuster raids in May 1943.

So, while we encourage you to celebrate and commemorate this anniversary, it is also important to remember the impact that the war had on our local and area and the country as a whole, as well as pay our respects to the millions of men and women who gave their lives. The Simpson West team will be taking part in ‘The Nation’s Toast’ at 3 pm on Friday 8th May, and we invite you to join us by raising a glass to recognise the sacrifices that were made for our freedom.