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Victory Night in Clayhidon, August 1945

Victory Night at Palmers

By Margaret Blackmore


On Victory Night (August 1945) The Queen left the Palace and mingled happily with the crowd.

At Palmers there was great excitement. “The parsnip wine!” someone shouted. “We’ll be able to open it at last.”

Willy Richards’ father, who was then living at Birch House, had given it to us saying “That’s for Victory Day – if it ever comes.”

The cider firkins were filled. Food was assembled and a bonfire was built up on the Common.

Word flew around. Everyone was invited.

When we got up there, the bonfire was blazing.  We could see all our neighbours had already drunk several toasts. The parsnip wine was delicious, but very strong, and the cider had been flowing.

Ern Bunston with his “squeeze-box” provided music, but he had drunk so much it was not as tuneful as usual. Bert James seemed to twinkle with happiness. It was wonderful. The war was over!

We girls wended our way home, wobbling happily. I remember thinking, “I’ve drunk too much!”

(Written for a Clayhidon Local History Group exhibition marking The Queen's 90th birthday. 2016.)