Tuesday, 02 June 2020

Free drink offered to people who were alive on VE Day

Free drink offered to people who were alive on VE Day

A HENLEY pub operator and brewer is encouraging every household in the town to enjoy a tea party at home to mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day on Friday.

Brakspear, whose head offices are in Bell Street, is also offering a free drink to anyone resident who was alive to celebrate the end of the Second World War in May 1945.

It is promoting the scheme in partnership with the Henley Covid-19 Mutual Aid Group, which came up with the idea to keep people’s spirits up during the coid-19 lockdown and help them observe the anniversary safely.

Participants are encouraged to sit in their front gardens as long as it’s safe to do so and to join in the Nation’s Toast at 3pm.

People have also been asked to decorate their front windows or gardens with VE Day bunting as well as the red, white and blue decorations encouraged by the Henley and Peppard branch of the Royal British Legion.

Both the wording for the toast and template for the colour-in bunting may be found on the mutial aid group’s Facebook page.

Emma Taylor, one of the volunteer group’s organisers, said: “We felt it was a perfect opportunity for people to come together emotionally, if not physically, and to honour those who lived through that momentous day.

“We approached Brakspear because the brewery is synonymous with Henley and we were sure they’d want to join with us to offer a gift to those residents who can remember it.

“It has been so wonderful seeing the whole town pull together through this crisis, just as it did during the war — and, just like then, we know we will meet again when restrictions are lifted.

“In the meantime, we can enjoy a socially distanced party apart, but together.”

Brakspear chief executive Tom Davies said: “We were truly delighted to be involved in this initiative to help the community celebrate. Social distancing has taken a toll on the majority of us and we hope this may brighten a few spirits.

“We really hope everyone has a wonderful time celebrating this momentous day in our history.”

To claim a free drink or nominate a friend, relative or neighbour for one, email holly@brakspear.co.uk with the recipient’s name, month and year of birth.

Those who are eligible may collect it at the Bull on Bell Street or the Little Angel in White Hill, both in Henley, or the Crown at Playhatch after the lockdown ends.

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