9th May 2018
After 5 long years of German Occupation during the Second World War, the Channel Islands finally regained their freedom. On the 9th May 1945, Guernsey men and women opened their windows wide, descended in the streets of St. Peter Port to breathe a common sight of relief and to start preparing for a brighter future. Seventy years on, the 9th May is still as strongly cherished by islanders whose collective memory of privations and hardships still echoes around the place. As half of the population was evacuated, including 4000 children, the other half endured hunger, poor medical attention and fear.
The celebrations on the 9th May are every year about not forgetting the past, thanking those who fought but also about the joy of freedom, plentifulness and family life. The day is therefore a very happy occasion with military band street parade, church services, period dancing and singing, a mini cavalcade, a Grand Prix, markets, fireworks and loads of entertainment for all generations to share.
As a taster, the 2016 Programme of Events was:
Friday 6th May 2016
Specsavers Tea Dance
The annual Specsavers Liberation Tea Dance has become one of the most popular events of the Liberation Celebrations for those individuals who were in Guernsey during the Occupation, for those who were evacuated or deported and for those who served in action.
The Sir John Loveridge Hall is bedecked in bunting,flags, 1940's memorabilia and lights all creating a colourful and joyful atmosphere.
The event is currently at capacity with a waiting list.
Location: Beau Sejour Leisure Centre, St Peter Port
Time: 1.30pm to 4.30pm
Telephone: 01481 231709
Friday 6th and 7th May 2016
Specsavers Liberation Hangar Ball
Specsavers are delighted to be hosting the Hangar Ball once again. An opportunity to remember loved ones lost, reminisce and celebrate freedom.
An evening jam-packed with 1940s style entertainment featuring The Ashby Big Band, Paul Casper a.k.a George Formby and much more.
Tickets can be bought individually, for small groups or for a full table, which is for 11 people.
Location: Beau Sejour Leisure Centre, St Peter Port
Time: 7.00pm to 12.30am
Price: £35.00 per person | £385.00 per group
Tickets: Specsavers Hangar Ball Tickets
Monday 9th May 2016
Liberation Slipway Service & Coffee Morning
2016 marks the 11th anniversary of The Liberation Slipway Service that celebrates the raising of the flags at the Cobo Slipway and the Castel Parish Flag at Le Guet.
The service, conducted by The Reverend Stephen Bailey, vicar of St Matthew’s Church, Cobo, will take place at 10am on the slipway opposite the Cobo Fish &Chip shop.
All are welcome and the Liberation Slipway Service will be followed by a coffee morning in the Cobo Community Centre 10:30 to 12 noon. Come and enjoy refreshments, local stall holders and a raffle to raise funds for The Cobo Community Centre.
Location: Cobo Slipway, Castel
Time: 10.00am to 12.00pm
Telephone: 01481 252707 or 07781 458156
Guernsey’s annual Liberation Celebrations simply would not be the celebration of the momentous events of 9 May 1945 without the annual Liberation Cavalcade and the tradition will continue this year.
The 2016 Liberation Cavalcade will comprise over 70 vehicles: twenty World War II motorcycles, trucks and jeeps owned and driven by members of the Guernsey Military Vehicle Group (GMVG); twenty to thirty pre 1945 classic and vintage cars from members of the Guernsey Old Car Club and twenty-two visiting pre-1945 cars and their owners from the UK’s Bean Car Club who will be visiting Guernsey for the first time in 2016.
With the WWII vehicles at the front, the route for the 2016 Liberation Cavalcade will be:
2.15pm: Depart Pembroke taking the road across L’Ancresse and down to the Route Militaire to The Halfway. At The Halfway the Cavalcade will turn right on to the east coast road, pass Salerie Corner
2.30pm: Arrive at the Weighbridge Roundabout where it will then continue its journey along the Sea Front to the Albert Memorial and to the Slaughter House Filter in Turn where it will turn anti-clockwise and drive northwards turning right on to the Albert Pier.
3.00pm to 5.00pm: Albert Pier - Spectators will be able to enjoy the history and nostalgia of these vintage vehicles at the static display.
There will be various spectator points along the Liberation Cavalcade route. All spectators, and especially those with children and babies/toddlers in push chairs, need to exercise extra care and attention to road safety awareness and remain on the pavements at all times.
Liberation Music at Castle Cornet
For the first time in recent years, Castle Cornet and its 800 years of rich history, is being woven into the landscape and footprint of Guernsey’s annual Liberation Celebrations
Liberation Music at Castle Cornet will enable islanders and visitors alike to enjoy an afternoon of live music that will represent a wide range of musical styles from classic to folk and from jazz to soul.
The natural features of Castle Cornet are being used for the actual performance areas including South Battery, Middle Ward and the Outer Ward – the last location being accessible for wheelchairs and children’s pushchairs.
The Castle and its museums will be open throughout this special Liberation Music at the Castle so visitors can experience the dual benefits of soaking up the castle’s history and atmosphere whilst listening to music that will complement the overall raison d’etre of the day – Liberation Celebrations.
Visitors to Liberation Music at Castle Cornet can either bring their own hampers to enjoy afternoon tea at their leisure but are respectfully asked to take with them their rubbish upon leaving Castle Cornet. Alternatively, The Refectory will be open from 10am – 6pm offering a range of light refreshments.
In keeping with the annual Liberation Celebrations policy, Castle Cornet and Liberation Music will be alcohol free zones.
Location: Castle Cornet, St Peter Port
Time: 3.00pm to 6.00pm
Price: Free entry
Website: Liberation Music at Castle Cornet
Grange Lodge Hotel
The Grange Lodge Hotel has been owned and operated by the Mansell Family since 1924 and offers a home away from home. The high ceilings and lovely guest lounges provide a cosy atmosphere, conveniently within walking distance of St. Peter Port’s centre.
Duke of Richmond Hotel
The Duke of Richmond is a 4 star hotel situated close to St. Peter Port town centre, featuring a large sun terrace, outdoor swimming pool and popular bar and restaurant.
Best Western Moores Hotel
The Best Western Moores Hotel is only a stone's throw from St. Peter Port harbour and sea front, providing guests with a perfect base from which to explore Guernsey.
La Collinette Self Catering
La Collinette Self Catering offers guests a home away from home, close to St. Peter Port town centre and only a short drive from Guernsey's beaches and countryside.
Old Government House Hotel & Spa
Fantastically located in the centre of St. Peter Port, The Old Government House is the only establishment in Guernsey to offer 5 star luxury including extensive Spa facilities.
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The celebrations on the 9th May are every year about not forgetting the past.