Lawe Top beacon to burn for VE day

The South Shields beacon
The South Shields beacon

South Tyneside will light a special beacon as part of nationwide celebrations to mark the 70th anniversary of VE Day.

Victory in Europe Day, or ‘VE Day’ as it is better known, marks the momentous day in history when Winston Churchill declared an end to the Second World War in Europe in 1945.

The borough will join cities and towns from across the UK in lighting one of a chain of more than 100 beacons at 9.30pm on Friday, as part of a national day of remembrance and reflection.

The Mayor of South Tyneside, Coun Fay Cunningham, will be joined by the Mayor’s Cadet, to light the V-shaped beacon at the Lawe Top Beacon in North Marine Park, South Shields. The ceremony will include a fanfare by a bugler from the Durham Light Infantry Association and a ceremonial tribute from the Royal British Legion.

The Mayor said: “It is an honour to play a part in this important national commemoration to mark the 70th anniversary of the day that peace spread across the continent, bringing to an end nearly six years of war and carnage in Europe.

“The anniversary is a time to remember all those who sacrificed so much and showed such courage and determination to secure the freedoms we enjoy today, as well as to celebrate victory in Europe. We are extremely proud to light our beacon to show our solidarity with the rest of the country and to celebrate the light emerging from the darkness of war.”

South Shields Town Hall will also fly the flags of the UK’s allies on May 8 as part of the local event.

The colours of the Union Jack – red, white and blue – will also be beamed on to the grand Edwardian building and magnificent clock tower, using a new high-tech floodlighting system. The Union flag will also fly at Jarrow Town Hall and Hebburn Civic Centre.

Members of the public are advised to arrive at the Lawe Top by 9.15pm for the beacon lighting at 9.30pm.