VE Day in Rodborough

Spillmans Road, Rodborough V.E Day – 8th May 1945

Rodborough Avenue

Stroud News – Friday 11th May 1945

Rodborough Avenue celebrated V-Day in true community fashion. It is in the fortunate position of being in a cul de sac and the  possibilities were made the most of. Early in the afternoon, under streamers of Allied flags, the ladies began arranging the chairs in the road, and soon the tables were laden with a super-abundance of good things ready for a victory tea for the children. After the  children’s’ tea the grown-ups sat down to their tea.

During the celebrations one resident handed round a large bottle of carnival mixed sweets bought in Sept. 1939 and saved for V-day. The afternoon ended with games with the children, then cameras were busy catching glimpse of some of Stroud’s prominent citizens helping Sally go round the moon and stars, to the grand delight of all.

A very pleasant manner of celebrating victory took place in Rodborough   Avenue when all the children were entertained to tea at a long table in the open air. It was a great joy to the grown-ups to see the children enjoy themselves so much. Later the grown-ups had tea all together in the open enjoying the unusual sense of  freedom and relaxation. The Avenue was gaily beflagged and a loudspeaker provided music.

Butterrow West celebrating VE day –
photo from Bygone Gloucestershire in the Gloucester Citizen

On V.E night in 1945 there were street parties at Boulevards and on Spillmans Road and another at the allotments where the Community Hall now stands. There was dancing on the Pike outside the Prince Albert – ‘A merry time’.  (Ken Whittard 2009)

Rodborough Tabernacle

– a memory from Maureen Arthur

From 1945, when I was 7 yrs. old, I have a lovely memory of Ernie Cook
compering a concert on the stage in the schoolroom at Rodborough
Tabernacle which I believe took place on the evening of V.E. day.

The formal announcement of the end of WW2 seemed to take the adults by surprise and nothing had been arranged to celebrate it in the Gastrells/Kingscourt area where we lived. Then by word-of-mouth a message came around like wildfire telling us that there was going to be a variety concert at The Tab. that evening, it was free and everybody could go!

No cars back then but everyone able to walk up the hill did attend and the
schoolroom was packed. Ernie was the compere and everytime he spoke
there were peals of laughter. My mother, who had a well-developed sense of humour, laughed helplessly and said “Oh, he is a silly fool!”

As for the people taking part on the stage I remember the curtains being
drawn for a scene change and a young June Dowdswell emerging to sing
“Look for the Silver Lining” beautifully. When the curtains opened again the scene had been transformed into a rooftop and two people I recognised as Girl Guides were dressed as blackbirds sitting in the chimney pots chatting. The only other act I remember was Bill Greensweig doing his “Country Yokel” turn dressed in an old smock, battered hat, red-spotted neckerchief and chewing a straw. He told amusing stories about life on the farm and probably ended by singing a little ditty entitled “Whot’s the price of swedes, Sammy?”

In between all the acts and scene changes, Ernie did a grand job keeping
things going with his amusing repartee.