The second in our features to mark VE Day focuses on the Keighley News edition of 5th May 1945. The paper starts with all of the regular small advertisements, public information and local minutiae. The Hippodrome is showing ‘the great thriller Dr Jeckyll and Mr Hyde’ with The Picture House offering ‘Dark Victory’ starring Bette Davis.
It is not until page 5 that the article ‘Keighley Plan for VE day’ appears: ‘Service of Thanks and Decorations’.
Two proposals were approved by Keighley Town Council for recognising VE Day – a public thanksgiving service and an expenditure of £40 to cover the cost of decorations in the centre of the town.
The general mood of the time was that this was only one stage in the end of the war and that it would be a mistake to celebrate prematurely. ‘Mr E Rollinson said he felt there was a ground for a quiet sober rejoicing, but he did not want to see celebrations extend to junketings’. Alderman J Denby remarked that he had a son, a son-in-law and a nephew serving in India and the Far East and said he could hardly rejoice while they were still facing death and ‘Mrs McNulty said she thought there was ample cause for thanksgiving when VE Day came, but celebrations and rejoicings ought to wait until all hostilities ceased’.
Nevertheless at Keighley Borough Court, the Chairman Mr Frank Waller made an announcement affecting licensees on VE Day: Extensions from 10pm to 11pm on VE Day were granted to all licensees on applications being made to the Clerk but ‘no application will be granted for the afternoon break or for the day following VE Day’.
In Bingley a bonfire was planned on Druids Altar followed by an impromptu programme of children’s sports with tea and buns.
Images Reproduced by kind permission of Keighley News.