Li­brary marks 70 years since victory in Europe

Rutherglen Reformer - - News -

Young and old joined hands at Ruther­glen Li­brary last Fri­day to com­mem­o­rate the 70th an­niver­sary of VE Day.

The event, which co­in­cided with the 70th an­niver­sary of the end of the Sec­ond World War in Europe, was the of­fi­cial open­ing of an ex­hi­bi­tion show­ing Ruther­glen dur­ing and af­ter the war and fea­tur­ing the sto­ries of Ru­glo­nian Jack Con­nor, who served with the“Forgotten Army”in Burma, and 93-year-old Mary Munro, who served with the Aux­il­iary Ter­ri­to­rial Ser­vice as a piper in an all-fe­male pipe band.

Vis­i­tors will be able to view the Roll of Hon­our list­ing more than 200 Ruther­glen folk who lost their lives in the con­flict and lo­cals are be­ing en­cour­aged to leave their writ­ten mem­o­ries and com­ments when they visit.

Fold­ers are avail­able on a num­ber of WW2 top­ics, in­clud­ing the sto­ries of lo­cal men who were taken prisoner and items from the war, in­clud­ing a gas mask and medals.

Vis­i­tors will also be able to read about how Ruther­glen played her part in the af­ter­math of the Cly­de­bank Blitz in 1941 by look­ing af­ter those made home­less by the bomb­ing in 1941.

Those at­tend­ing the open­ing on Fri­day ob­served the na­tional two-minute si­lence to mark Win­ston Churchill’s an­nounce­ment of the war’s of­fi­cial end­ing in Europe.

This was fol­lowed by Ruther­glen piper John Paton who played the tra­di­tional lament Flow­ers of the For­est and a se­lec­tion of Scot­tish tunes, in­clud­ing Mary My Scots Blue­bell, in trib­ute to fel­low piper Mary Munro.

Lo­cal writer Dorothy Con­nor then read an ex­tract from Churchill’s speech on the day and then sang a se­lec­tion of wartime songs be­fore all sang along to “We’ll Meet Again”and“The White Cliffs of Dover”.

Dorothy said:“The event was well at­tended with peo­ple from 19 to 93 and it was a plea­sure and a priv­i­lege to meet ev­ery­one and hear their sto­ries.

“There was a Ring A-Ring O’Roses cir­cle round the Main Street on VE Day it­self on May 8, 1945, with peo­ple danc­ing and singing with re­lief that it was all over. We wanted folk to get some kind of idea what it was like and it was good to see li­brary staff and mem­bers of the public up danc­ing while also re­mem­ber­ing the great sor­row of those times, and not for­get­ting that the war in the Far East did not end un­til Au­gust that year.”

Dorothy will be giv­ing two talks at the li­brary on wartime themes.

“The Bombs, the Blitz and the Book­ies”is on Thurs­day, May 21, from 6pm-7pm, and“Dear Cathie”, a Ruther­glen sol­dier’s let­ters home from the Forgotten Army is on Thurs­day, June 18, from 6-7pm.

Tick­ets cost £2 from the li­brary and tea and cof­fee will be pro­vided.

Dorothy’s book Home Town Tales with her mother’s sto­ries about the town dur­ing wartime will also be on sale.

Eileen served with the Fire Ser­vice as a tele­phon­ist in the con­trol room at Ruther­glen Fire Sta­tion in King Street.

She added:“Zen Boyd, the li­brar­ian at the Her­itage Cen­tre, has worked so hard to bring it all to­gether and we are so for­tu­nate to have such a great li­brary in Ruther­glen and such en­thu­si­as­tic staff.”

The ex­hi­bi­tion runs un­til Au­gust 31 and en­try is free.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.