Party like it is 1945

Judy Forster and other revellers at Seil's commemorative VE Day dance on Sunday May 8

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Judy Forster was back partying in Seil at the weekend – 77 years after attending the island’s original VE Day celebrations.

Mrs Forster, whose birthday is this week, was just seven when her mum tied red, white and blue ribbons in her hair ready to join other islanders at a big party marking the end of the Second World War in 1945.

On Sunday, Mrs Forster returned with her own daughter Emma and family, travelling from home in Killin to be a special guest at a VE Day commemorative dance in Seil Island Hall, organised by Easdale Branch of the Scottish Royal British Legion.

Seil Sound’s Victory Singers
VE Day tea for two at Seil Island Hall
In 1940’s costume are Rachel Smith and Ron Hetherington with Judy Forster who was at the original Seil VE Day party

The 84-year-old said some fond memories were brought flooding back – although bitter sweet because her father was killed in the war.

Her family had moved from Yorkshire to Glasgow, then to Seil, where her mother loved living.

‘I remember my mother looked high and low for something for me to wear to the party on VE Day. It had to be red, white and blue. In the end, I had ribbons to tie up my curls in bunches. I can’t remember much more than that because I was only seven at the time but it must’ve been a good party, there was lots of music and dancing – just like today,’ she said.

And she was full of praise for organisers of the 2022 celebration: ‘The hall’s been beautifully decorated, a huge amount of effort’s been put in. It’s been lovely,’ she said.

Organiser’s of Sunday’s dance are hoping the event tipped the £1,000 mark in aid of armed forces and veterans’ charities they support.

Lorraine Reynolds from the Easdale branch said: ‘It was absolutely amazing. Special thanks to everyone who made the day a success.’

It was the idea of Easdale branch chairman Ron Hetherington who was determined there would be an anniversary celebration this year after Covid cancelled  VE Day’s 75th anniversary.

Seil Sound choir’s Victory Singers put on a good show with the audience singing along to some of the  best-known wartime tunes.

Graham and Janet Scott led the dance moves to a music soundtrack provided by Stuart Abercrombie and Gary Hamilton of GH Productions who were also there to capture the afternoon on film.

And Else Mellor marshalled a catering team to supply an afternoon tea fit for London’s Savoy Hotel, said Mr Hetherington.