Following the success of the Instagram Live ‘Virtual’ market, traders from Ruddington Village Market came together to showcase their products in a limited edition VE Day hamper to help the village commemorate the 75th Anniversary of VE Day (Victory in Europe), which marked the end of the Second World War against Germany.
The hampers were a huge success, with a total of 77 being prepared for residents of Ruddington to collect from The Bottle Top on the morning of the celebrations. Preparing such a large number while maintaining social distancing was not without its challenges but the team were keen to do whatever they could to ensure the village could celebrate in style.
Contributions came from The Bottle Top in the form of jam, bread and fruit; as well as sausage rolls from Black Cat Café, hand sanitizer from Ruddy Fine Distillery and completed with a bouquet of red, white and blue flowers from Phoenix Flowers – meaning there was something for everyone in the hampers. Other contributors included The Split Screen Coffee Company, The Frame Breakers, Sweetie Boutique, artist Katie Derry and The Ruddington Village Centre Partnership.
Alex Preston, from the Bottle Top said: “After seeing a poster circulated online about a socially distant way to celebrate VE Day, the traders were keen to help mark the occasion and give our community the means to celebrate such an important day. We hadn’t anticipated such high demands but are so humbled by the response from Ruddington. We have had such a positive response; cards, emails and messages to say how much they were enjoyed. It’s a special thing where businesses can work together. The best part was seeing a photo of one of Ruddington’s Veterans receiving his surprise hamper, that what the day was all about”
Not only did the hampers make their way to lots of happy customers but Rushcliffe Borough Council gifted hampers to some of our local veterans and mutual aid volunteers to say thank you for their service. Borough Councillor Jen Walker said: “The Ruddington Mutual Aid group has been amazing throughout the lockdown, and the Council and traders wanted a way to say thank you to some of the key people in the group. They have kept the village safe by dedicating their time to the smooth running of the network of volunteers.”
She continued: “We were also able to gift hampers to three veterans in the village who were delighted and surprised to be presented with the hampers to mark the occasion.”
The celebrations around the village were something to be proud of, with bunting in gardens and across streets, Union Jacks being flown from windows and culminating at 3pm with the return of “Raucous Ruddington”. Churchill Drive was aptly renamed “Winston Churchill Drive” (top “sign” photo by Jenny Daxter) and the street represented its namesake well with its clapping, horn honking and pot banging, supported by the rest of the village.
Walking around the village, neighbours were out chatting (at a 2 metre distance) from their camping chairs in their front gardens and on their drives. Scones were plentiful thanks to Jasper’s Café who delivered their 500th Afternoon Tea over the weekend in partnership with Phoenix Flowers & Kerry Fresh. Residents enjoyed the sweet treats complimented with their finest tea pots and cake stands on display, and the odd glass of prosecco was consumed.
Entertainment for the afternoon was provided by The Frame Breakers via their Facebook page with live music being streamed from the homes of some of their regular acts.
In all, the day was a celebration in the face of adversity and proved that no virus was going to stand in the way of Ruddington showing its patriotism. It might not have been how we would have chosen to celebrate but it shows the community spirit of the village in new and creative ways.
Ruddington featured in Rushcliffe Borough Council‘s VE Day 2020 video, too!