VE Day in Lavenham

Hot on the heels of the very successful Victory Day at Acton Primary School, the Eighth in the East team spent the weekend working with partners in Lavenham to help mark the 70th anniversary of VE Day.

Over the course of the weekend Learning Officer Annie Sommazzi and Community Archaeologist Martin Cuthbert saw over 500 visitors at a small exhibition put together by the project team. The exhibition showed the history of the US Army Air Force 487th Bombardment Group (based near Lavenham) in its wider regional context. As well as engaging with people from all over the East of England, Martin and Annie discussed this history with visitors from the USA, France, the Netherlands and Germany.


Scott Bradley and his team of Military Police re-enactors politely ‘encouraged’ visitors to visit our exhibition at Little Hall, the stunning fourteenth-century home of the Suffolk Preservation Building Trust’s Little Hall, positioned just off Lavenham Market Place. The team from the American Air Museum at Duxford also joined us to show off their fabulous new website.


The famous ‘Airman’s Bar’ in The Swan Hotel served as the centre of celebrations and Hank the Yank was on hand to show visitors his collection of uniforms and memorabilia. The highlight of the weekend was a guided walk around Lavenham airfield and a Plaque Dedication Ceremony in memory of the 487th  Bomb Group.


 We’d like to say a big thank you to everyone who helped make the weekend a success and to all those who visited us at Little Hall.


You may have seen the Eighth in the East featured on BBC One East’s ‘VE Day: First Days of Peace’ as part of the channel’s VE Day commemorations. The programme tells the story of the English countryside after VE Day and features Project Manager David Cain talking about the changes to the region’s landscape brought about by the American presence during WWII.

If you missed it, don’t forget that you can still catch up on iPlayer by clicking here: