Plans to take Market Drayton back in time for VE Day commemoration

By Rob Smith | Market Drayton | North Shropshire entertainment | Published:

For the new VE Day bank holiday this year, a veteran hopes to turn a Shropshire military town into a 1940s-themed attraction.

Sir Winston Churchill giving his famous V for Victory at the end of the Second World War

Mark Whittle of Market Drayton, a former soldier and current town councillor, wants to celebrate the town’s military connections with period-appropriate entertainment, costumes and vehicles filling Cheshire Street.

The early May bank holiday will take place on May 8 this year to coincide with Victory in Europe Day, the 75th anniversary of the formal end of the Second World War.

Mr Whittle said that the new date would be the ideal chance to celebrate Market Drayton's military history.

The town has a close connection to the military base at nearby Tern Hill.

"Market Drayton, for the day, will be turned into a 1940s town," he said.

"We will shut the street down for the day, we will have bunting, shopkeepers can get in touch and we will give them white paper to wrap shopping in.

"I'm hoping to have military and civilian vehicles from the time. We're going to ask the schools to do their bit too.

"There is a large percentage of the townspeople who are ex-military. A lot of the Royal Irish Regiment guys [based at the Clive Barracks, Tern Hill] meet their spouses and settle down here.


"I think it will be a really, really good day."

He wants to arrange for a 1940s-themed band and singer to entertain too. He also said he plans to request that Shropshire Council relax parking restrictions for the day.

Mr Whittle hopes for veterans who experienced the Second World War to contact him so that they can be catered for on the day.

To learn more or get involved, call 07756 975082.

Rob Smith

By Rob Smith

Senior reporter for the Shropshire Star based at Ketley in Telford.


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