ON this day 75 years ago, crowds filled the streets as people celebrated the end of conflict in Europe after more than five years of fighting during the Second World War.
Prime Minister Winston Churchill announced the news that German troops had offered their unconditional surrender on May 8, 1945, just four days after Nazi leader Adolf Hitler committed suicide in his German bunker.
Victory in Europe Day, or VE Day, marked the end of conflict on the continent, but war would not end in Japan until August.
The announcement put an end to five years and eight months of conflict in Europe which caused more than one million British deaths as well as four years of rationing of food and clothing.
Communities around Barnsley celebrated the news and held street parties and decorated the streets with red, white and blue bunting.
VE Day and the day after were taken as general holidays and a large ‘V’ for victory was projected onto the front of the town hall in celebration.
In an address outside the town hall, the mayor at the time, Arthur Jepson, said: “On this day of historic significance the people of this town can feel with proud and joyful hearts that they have contributed with undiminishing fervour towards the attainment of this high pinnacle of glorious victory.
“It is now the earnest hope of us all that we are on the threshold of a lasting peace throughout the world.”
Terrence ‘Terry’ Mullings was seven at the time of VE Day and vividly remembers the celebrations that took place in Wombwell.
“I remember it as if it was yesterday,” said Terry, now 82. “I remember listening to the radio about the end of the war. At the time I was confused because I thought that there would be no more newspapers or radio broadcasts because I thought they only spoke about what was happening in the war.
“Being so young when the war started, I couldn’t remember peace time so I knew little about what life was like before.”
Terry remembers a large street party on Copeland Road which lasted for most of the day.
“I don’t think we went to school that day,” added Terry, who now lives on Summer Lane, Wombwell. “We had a great party on our street and all the ladies put out the bunting and made trifle and cakes.
“It was great fun for a child. We played music a gramophone and we sang along to it. I remember ‘We’ll Meet Again’ by Vera Lynn being played.
“It was a really great atmosphere - all the neighbours came together to provide food and everyone danced and sang and rejoiced.
“We were quite poor, my father was a miner, so to be able to eat treats and take part in the celebrations was very exciting for a child.”