Farsley and VE Day

VE Day at Sunny Bank Mills

May 7th, 2020

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VE Day, or Victory in Europe Day, marked the surrender of Germany and the end of the War in Europe in 1945. People in Farsley listened to the announcements on the wireless by Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, and King George VI.  As the day had been declared a holiday, residents were able to celebrate, with many holding street parties on that day and the next.  Sometimes streets joined together to make a bigger party – for instance, the people in Red Lane, Broad Street and Stony Royd held theirs up ‘the middle piece.’

At the Archive we are researching the part Sunny Bank Mills played during the Second World War and looking at how that fitted into life in Farsley at that time.  In the village, there are residents, now in their eighties and nineties, who can remember what Farsley was like then.  We know of at least one person who was working in the mill as a young man.  This means that we can interview people as part of our research and record their memories.

Did you know?

  • Farsley’s air-raid siren was located at the mill, in the Penny ‘ole.
  • Red brick air-raid shelters were built in the streets, although people with cellars sometimes sheltered there instead.
  • When the siren sounded, the children at Frances Street Junior School were allowed to go home if they could get there within a specific time. Otherwise, they had to stay in the school’s shelter until it was safe.
  • Opposite the church was a large, round static water tank. The fire brigade would have used the water if incendiary bombs had been dropped on the village.
  • German prisoners-of-war worked on making the roads for the new Farfield Estate. Local residents took them food to eat.

This week, when you see photos of street parties, notice how many of the people celebrating are women and children. Men serving away did not return for weeks or months.  And remember too, it was only the war in Europe which had ended.

Blog written by an Archive Volunteer

If you have any stories about VE Day in Farsley or Farsley during WW2 we would love to hear from please contact us on archive@sunnybankmills.co.uk

Find out more at www.veday75.org

Find out more about our Archive here

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