Across the county, residents of Fermanagh didn’t let the pandemic stop them from commemorating the 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe (VE) Day, with many celebrating at home.

Noel and June McIlfatrick from Lisbellaw decorated their garden with bunting and set up a small memorial with flags and poppies to mark the 75th VE Day anniversary.

In Lisnaskea, members of the Erne Highland Dancers performed a dance for the residents of the Colorado Residential Home on the VE Day anniversary. They were accompanied on the pipes by Darren Robinson.

93-year-old Margaret Thompson from Enniskillen remembers celebrating VE Day in London in 1945.

Commemorating the 75th anniversary on Friday, May 8, Margaret was surprised by a visit to her home by members of the Fermanagh Gardening Society who helped her celebrate whilst maintaining a social distance.

Speaking to The Impartial Reporter, Margaret, an electrical engineer who was training in radar mechanics in England at the time, explained how she came to be in London when Victory in Europe was announced.

“We had six months intensive training and we ended with a document saying we were all electrical engineers but that was only the beginning of the radar training.

“We went then to the south coast to Fareham, it was called HMS Collingwood and we had months and months of then using the theory until radar equipment, which in those ancient days was enormous so it was months and months before we were fully trained radar mechanics,” shared Margaret, adding: “We were training in radar mechanics but the time we were fully trained, the war was over.”

“When we were told that we had passed our exams, we were all given weekend leave. We didn’t know anything about VE at that stage, but I was with five friends, we had been together for six months heavy training and we’d booked in to the YWCA in central London and then we discovered that it was VE the next day and so we went into the crowds and took part in the whole weekend. I’ve never ever forgotten it, it was unbelievable,” she reminisced.

Celebrating VE Day in London, Margaret commented that her and her friends just followed the crowds: “The crowds all knew where there was something exciting happening, we moved with the crowds and we heard Churchill on the balcony and we had several visits to Buckingham Palace.”

“It was very exciting,” Margaret told this newspaper.