Kent

Search for Tonbridge VE Day residents in 1945 photo

VE Day party in Tonbridge Image copyright John Randal
Image caption Residents of four streets, including children in fancy dress, attended the party on 8 May 1945

Organisers of a Kent street party to mark the 70th anniversary of Victory in Europe Day are arranging a reunion with people who attended a party in 1945.

The town of Tonbridge is celebrating the end of World War II in Europe with four days of events next month.

Pam Mills, of the Royal British Legion, is trying to locate as many people as possible from photos of an original street party held in the town on 8 May.

They show children "in fancy dress with smiles on their faces", she said.

"You look at it and you instantly smile and you think, 'that's great, let's do it again'."

Image copyright John Randal
Image caption People in the photos and those connected with them are invited to the reunion tea party

The black-and-white photos show residents from the Ives Road, Audley Avenue, Clare Avenue and Pembroke Road areas.

Ms Mills has been using social media and local contacts to get in touch with people connected to the original street party, which will be recreated with an afternoon tea party on 7 May at The Humphrey Bean pub in Tonbridge.

Image copyright Billy Gowin
Image caption Ted Gowin (second left) and brother Billy (kneeling far right) with their parents and other siblings on VE Day

One of the residents at the VE Day party was Billy Gowin, 82, who was 11-years-old.

He said he remembered the day well because his older brother Ted, who was in the Royal Engineers regiment and had been missing, returned home from a German prisoner of war camp just hours before the start of the party.

"My brother was guest of honour at the party... he judged the tug-of-war and lit the bonfire in the evening," he recalled, adding that it was a "very exciting day" as his mother knew that her other sons would also be coming home.

BBC South East are collecting viewers' memories, photos and films of VE Day. Please email: southeasttoday@bbc.co.uk or call: 0345 300 3747.

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