W reaths were laid at the War Memorial outside Sale Town Hall this morning to commemorate the 75th anniversary of VE Day.
The Mayor of Trafford Cllr Rob Chilton and the High Sheriff of Greater Manchester Dr Eamonn O’Neal each laid a wreath to mark the end of fighting against Nazi Germany in Europe in World War Two.
Sale was bombed during the war with the town hall suffering extensive damage in 1940 during an attack known as the Manchester Blitz.
With all public gatherings cancelled, today’s ceremony had to be a low-key affair watched by onlookers who were out enjoying their daily exercise.
Social distancing guidelines were observed and the restrictions meant the Mayor could not wear his robes which are locked away at Stretford Town Hall which is inaccessible during the coronavirus crisis.
The two dignitaries, both Sale residents, have been unable to carry out many of their official civic duties because of the pandemic, often relying on video conferencing and social media to connect with communities.
Michael Riley, Chairman of Churches Together in Sale, and the Mayor’s Chaplain Barbara Sharp, Vicar of St Paul’s Church, also took part in the service. A wreath was laid by Trafford veterans – Claire Wright (Royal Navy), Kevin O’Brien (RAF) and Chris Squires (Army) representing the Armed Forces. Greater Manchester Police also attended.
The event started a day of celebration in Sale as families marked Victory in Europe (VE) Day on May 8 1945 when Britain and its Allies formally accept Nazi Germany’s unconditional surrender after almost six years of war.
The bunting is out for Bank Holiday street parties which need to comply with social distancing measures. Shops had sold out of flags and bunting, leaving some shoppers frustrated.
Meanwhile, staff at Trafford General Hospital staged a symbolic Clap For Carers tribute in its car park at 8 pm last night.
Park Hospital, as it was then known, became the first NHS hospital when it was opened by the then Health Minister Aneurin Bevan in 1948.
Trafford has always celebrated its role as the birthplace of the NHS, an honour the hospital wanted to acknowledge at a time when the role of front-line of health care workers is appreciated more than ever.