99-year-old reminisces on VE day celebrations

A PENSIONER has spent the 75th anniversary of VE day reminiscing on the relief felt as Churchill declared the end of World War II – and how it compares with the current Coronavirus crisis.

Elenor Petrie, who is 99 and who lives at Bield’s Dean Court in Bo’ness, has been sharing her memories of the iconic day in history and how it compares to the current pandemic, in particular the similarity of the bravery of those on front line.

Elenor, who born and brought up in Newcastle and who would have been 24 in 1945, said: “I had just returned from Birmingham on leave from my job for Rolls-Royce a few days before and I am very glad as I got to spend the occasion with my family.

“On the day of Churchill’s announcement, my family were all together - my parents, two sisters, and half bother. We were gathered round the radio for the announcement and there was a huge cry of relief and celebration. But also a deep sadness for what had happened to get to this point.

“I remember everyone had a street party and due to the rationing, we just brought what we could – it was a very happy day. The trams were illuminated to celebrate the end and were going up and down the main streets in Newcastle and crowds cheered when they went past.

“We put every light on in our house that night as we didn’t have to use our blackout curtains – it was little things like this that really made us feel like it was the end”.

Elenor’s mobility is not great which has result in her not experiencing the full effects of the current lockdown as she doesn’t leave her home often, but explained it is similar to war-time as everyone has to pull together to get through it.

Elenor added: “The two periods in life are very different but have a common factor - the brave people on the frontline.”

Daughter, Elaine Dixon, said: “My mum has a great zest for life and I think that is one of the main things that helps her get through really difficult situations – she also never takes herself too serious and always has a laugh which is something that has shown through in light of the current pandemic.

“We have thoroughly enjoyed reminiscing on the VE day memories, in between the many quiz shows that I have had to watch with my mum during lockdown. It’s been very interesting to hear my mum’s thoughts that we may possibly have more restrictions than they did!”

To find out more about Bield and its developments, visit www.bield.co.uk  or follow on Facebook @bieldhousingandcare and Twitter @BieldScotland

A designated e-mail address Hello@bield.co.uk and phone number 0131 273 4000 has been set up to deal with queries and questions during the Coronavirus crisis.