|Kathleen Haines recorded her memories of V.E. Day during an exhibition in Mersea Museum, and they were published in Mersea Island Society Mistral Magazine in 2009.
"We were there! We lived in Nottinghamshire at the time, and my father suggested we should have a family day out....and that it should be in London! We all piled into his pre-war Morris 8, and set off on the Great North Road. We stopped for coffee with a Great Aunt in Barnet, and then headed for the West End, and parked in Whitehall! We walked along to Downing Street and stood yards away from the car that was carrying Churchill and other prominent people back to No. 10 from the service of Thanksgiving that had been held in St. Margaret's Church. We then went for a meal at the Great Eastern Hotel....duck and green peas, and instead of a glass of water we had orange squash!
Back up West again, we parked on the Embankment and stood in Green Park with thousands of others. I remember Dad suddenly worrying about safety, and
fearful that we might become separated.
If one of us had tripped and fallen we might well have been trampled underfoot by the milling crowd. He insisted my brother and I hold hands, and looked after my sister himself as she was still fragile after being quite ill, and he asked a charming American airman to keep an eye on Mother!
Very late at night, we found the car, and arrived home with the milkman next morning.
At school next day I learned quickly that it was not wise to say too much about this as classmates had certainly not celebrated in quite such a spectacular way.
My father was an honourable man, but we have all since agreed that it would not do to enquire where he got his petrol from !!!