Partying in the streets was tinged with sorrow
MAXONIANS partied in the streets when news broke that the Second World War had ended in Europe.
Thousands came out of their homes and gathered in the town centre at Market Place to celebrate together with music and dancing.
The celebrations erupted after news that the Second World War in Europe was officially over.
It marked the surrender of Nazi Germany to the Allies. Nazi leader Adolf Hitler had committed suicide on April 30 and Germany’s surrender was offered by his successor Admiral Donitz in France.
Celebrations took place throughout the world and more than one million people celebrated in the streets in the UK.
In Macclesfield, one of those celebrating was Len Johnson, 88, who lives with wife Beryl on Belgrave Road and is a former chairman of the Royal British Legion.
He was back in Macclesfield aged 18 on leave from the Army on VE Day.
Len said: “People were coming out of their homes and into the streets to celebrate. I went to Market Place with my parents and family and there was music playing out from speakers from the town hall. There must have been thousands of people there.
“We were all so relieved it was over.
“But it was a confused time, a time to be forgotten in many ways.
“I was thinking about all those people who never came back to Macclesfield, all those people who were killed and injured.
“You can see them all on the war memorial.
“It was a happy time but there was sadness too.”
Allan Williams, 61, chairman of the Royal British Legion in Macclesfield, said: “We only have a few people in Macclesfield now who will remember VE Day now, but it’s important that we mark the day because of the incredible sacrifices made by so many, and all the death and destruction.
“I don’t know of any bombing in Macclesfield but Acton farm at Over Alderley was bombed by German bombers.
“All it takes is a look at the war memorial to see the effect the war had on Macclesfield.”
Residents are urged to mark the 70th anniversary of VE Day with events on Friday.
A member of the Cheshire Youth Theatre will read the moving speech made by Winston Churchill in 1945 at the VE Day celebrations in London.
●● Len Johnson has given his memories of VE Day in Macclesfield
●● Macclesfield children on VE Day in 1945