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Joan Rimmer’s Scrapbook Memories of Formby VE Day Celebrations 25 years ago in Formby

The 8th of May 2020 marks the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War in Europe - VE day and the government has decreed that date to be a special celebratory bank holiday. This slim volume is a reminder of how 25 years ago Formby celebrated the 50th anniversary and is perhaps a prelude to Formby’s forthcoming celebrations in 2020.

This book is a scrapbook of memories of Formby VE Day anniversary celebrations in Formby 1995 and was written by Joan Rimmer. It is packed full of photos from that weekend and is brilliant!

Joan was born and has lived all her life in Formby. For many years Joan has kept alive the history and spirit of Formby through her books, poems and slide shows. In 1998 she was awarded with the Formby Citizen Of The Year Award for her services to the community and in 2019 she received the Pride of Formby Lifetime Achievement Award.

Joan said: “As each year passes, fewer and fewer people are left with memories of the Second World War. Those surviving today are in their 80s, at least, with mainly childhood remembrances, alongside the ever-decreasing number of those who actually served in that terrible conflict. Many of my generation in Formby were too young to understand the dire seriousness of the situation and enjoyed the excitement of collecting shrapnel in the fields, watching the searchlights in the sky and marching along the troops from the new Barricks, as they paraded through the streets.”

“When victory in Europe came in May 1945, my recollections of the celebrations in Duke Street Park are vague, only remembering the rip-rap fireworks being thrown among the crowd and climbing into a German plane brought down in the park. However, when Japan surrendered in August 1945, the party we had on VJ night is more memorable, with a wonderful street party, tables of food in the road, a bonfire, dancing, singing and games. Others have countless different memories of that time, but so many more living here today have none, which is perhaps why it is pertinent to look back 25 years to the 50th anniversary of the end of World War II, when Formby experienced a truly marvellous week of celebrations.”

“No official record was made of that time, however, I compiled a scrapbook including photographs originally commissioned by the Formby Royal British Legion and then given to me which now, as the 75th anniversary approaches, would seem apposite for publication in recognition of that momentous occasion. It was one of Formby’s most successful and happy episodes and a reminder of how blessed we are to be celebrating 75 years of peace time.”

The book is available to purchase for £5 from Derbyshires, The Village Post Office and also Ryders Chemists in Old Town Lane.

All proceeds will go to Queenscourt Hospice.

Read more about the 75th VE Day Celebrations in Formby on Saturday 9th May on their Facebook page:

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