This film is part of Free

V.E. Day Civic Service, Bradford

A sense of ending is evident among the service personnel and citizens of Bradford as V E Day finally arrives, although it is enough to inspire some jubilant dancing in the streets.

Non-Fiction 1945 12 mins Silent

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Logo for Yorkshire Film Archive


Service Personnel marching through the streets of towns had become commonplace during the war, and there is a touch of weariness amongst those seen here in Bradford marking the end of the war in Europe. But at last there is a chance to let one’s hair down, and the relieved folk of Bradford, especially the young women, give a wonderful show of some fancy dancing on the crowded city streets. Just after the celebrations there is also a fascinating cycle race through Bradford.

This film is one of many made from the late 1930s through to the late 1950s by local Bradford councillor Robert Sharp, who had a floor covering business. The inevitable surrender of Germany had been looming for a while when finally V E Day arrived, and the war was still being fought in the Far East, and so this may explain the fairly restrained celebrations. The V E Day celebrations across the country reveal a variety of dance styles, some reflecting the swing era, as can be seen here. Perhaps surprisingly there was a revolution in cycle road racing during the war, in 1942, when Percy Stallard from Wolverhampton organised an open roads race, leading to the formation of the British League of Racing Cyclists.