One of the really special days we celebrated in May was of course VE Day. Wartime memorabilia was on show throughout Shipston Lodge as we commemorated that momentous day 75 years ago when peace returned to Europe. We decorated our hallway with Union Jack bunting and created a museum-style feel. We had a WWII uniform and a few 1940s-style dresses. We also printed out World War Two pictures of the places where all of our residents lived and other images showing bomb-damaged sites such as the Bournville factory. Then we laminated the pictures and stuck them on the picture frames so our residents and staff could walk along and look at the displays. We covered our piano and garden lounge entrance with camouflage material, aeroplanes and bombs. Residents helped to make ration books by copying an original version and to add authenticity we stained them with coffee! Then inside the books we printed what rations adults would have had per day. Also included was the menu for our BBQ. Chef prepared homemade burgers, sausages and chicken skewers. He also created homemade coleslaw and fresh salad. We also had a treat for dessert with homemade trifle and rainbow cake. We sat out in the garden then proceeded to the dining area for our lunch, which was decorated with more Union Jack bunting, flags, paper napkins, plates and cups. We also organised a big board setting out all of the fascinating stories from our residents of the periods before and during the war. Because of the lockdown we couldn’t invite any entertainers in; undaunted, members of the Shipston Lodge team stepped up performed and then led sing-a-longs to wartime favourites. Some staff even dressed as Land girls and members of a bomber crew. Throughout the day we had the chance to look through two albums showing photos and stories of our residents’ wartime experience. It was a truly wonderful day. Among the many lovely comments from residents was one from Eileen who said it was ‘such a wonderful day with singing,’ and Selina said: “It was excellent, it was organised well.” For Pam, ‘it brought back great memories,’ and Johnny said, “It was great, I loved it.” And Alan was so kind: “It was such a wonderful day. What you have all put in as planned for the day was a merit to you all. I wanted to salute all of you for making this day brilliant for us.”


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