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VE Day Events - South East

A street party in Tonbridge in 1945 Credit: Royal British Legion

National celebrations are beginning to mark 70 years since VE Day.

They include a two-minute silence at The Cenotaph in London at 3pm on Friday May 8, marking the moment Prime Minister Winston Churchill broadcast his historic speech formally announcing the end of the war against Germany.

On Friday evening more than 100 beacons will be lit around the country. There are several in Kent, Sussex and Essex and all will be lit at 9.30pm.

On Saturday churches are being asked to ring bells at 11am - and on Sunday the Queen will attend a service of thanksgiving at Westminster Abbey .

There are also community events taking place across the South East. Some of the events listed below have a cover charge so it is best to check in advance.


The Leas, Folkestone

Battle of Britain Memorial, Capel-le-Ferne

Windmill Hill, Gravesend

Grounds of Blind Veterans UK, Ovingdean, Brighton

Victoria Pleasure Ground, Uckfield

St John's Park, Burgess Hill

Tilgate Park, Crawley

Coalhouse Fort, East Tilbury



Haywards Heath - VE Day celebration: Community Room, Walden Park Primary Academy, New England Rd,11.00 am - 2pm.

Brighton - VE Day Anniversary Concert, Royal Pavilion, 8pm.

Tonbridge - Concert by The Clefhangers Big Band and local performers, River Centre, 8pm

Uckfield - Maroon to be fired in the town centre and flag-raising at Civic Centre, 3pm.


Newhaven - Newhaven Fort, Fort Road street party on the parade ground, 10.30-4pm .

Gravesend - VE Day commemorative event at the Fort Gardens, 11.30am - 2.30pm.

East Wittering - VE Day event, Cakeham Road, East Wittering, 11am - 3pm

Tonbridge - Tom Carradine will be singing wartime and cockney singalongsongs in the Pavilion shopping centre, Tonbridge and all money collected in that day is in support of the Royal British legion, 12-2pm

Betteshanger - VE Day celebration, Betteshanger Social Club, 7pm


Brighton - Open Air Service, War Memorial, Old Steine, Brighton, 3pm

Horam - The Horam Village VE Day Street Party at Horam Station, 2pm - 5pm

Tonbridge - Service of Thanksgiving and an exhibition including dress of the era at Tonbridge Parish Church, 6.30pm.

East Grinstead - VE Day Street Party, High Street, 4pm - 9pm

Arrest made in connection with murder investigation

Mark Manning has been missing since 19th April 2014 Credit: SUSSEX POLICE

A man has been arrested on suspicion of murder by detectives investigating the disappearance of Lancing man Mark Manning.The 38-year-old from Worthing is currently in custody awaiting questioning after he was detained by officers on Wednesday 6th May.

Mark, 54, of Brighton Road, was last seen on 19th April 2014 before his family reported him missing on 22nd April. They said it was completely out of character for him to disappear.

Officers launched a murder investigation last June. A year on and despite extensive proof of life enquiries and searches, no one has reported hearing from or seeing Mark. His body has not been found.


Census professor receives top honour

Professor David Martin has revolutionised census-taking Credit: University of Southampton

A Professor of Geography at the University of Southampton is to be given a top award for his work in revolutionising how to compile a census.

David Martin will be awarded the prestigious Back Award by the Royal Geographical Society in recognition of his research into a new approach for compiling and analysing official statistics – in particular for the UK Census.

His work contributed to a government decision to retain the census for 2021.

Professor Martin’s research overcame major past problems with reporting census data. In the 1990s, information from approximately 4,000 areas of the UK couldn’t be reported, due to populations being so small they caused confidentially concerns for participants. He developed a complex model and algorithm which offered an entirely different approach to designing small areas for census results.

Police make arrest in connection with missing woman

Mariola Cudworth has been missing since 30th April Credit: KENT POLICE

A man in his thirties has been arrested in connection with the disappearance of Mariola Cudworth from Deal.

Mariola Cudworth, also known as Mika, was reported missing from her home in Northbourne on Thursday 30th April and officers are concerned for her welfare.

Mika was last seen by her family in the early hours of Wednesday 29th April and was wearing white trainers, grey tracksuit bottoms, a pink t-shirt and grey fleece and carrying a black handbag.

She is described as white, with a medium build. She has blonde hair and blue eyes.

She is Polish-born and speaks both English and Polish.

Officers have been carrying out enquiries in Northbourne and conducting a series of searches of the nearby area. A missing person enquiry is still ongoing.


Leader of Hastings Borough Council dies

Labour Councillor Jeremy Birch has died Credit: East Sussex County Council

The leader of Hastings Borough Council has died in hospital.

Labour Councillor Jeremy Birch was taken to hospital on Friday afternoon and had been in a coma since then. It's believed he had a stroke.

The Council issued a statement last night saying: "We were very sad indeed to learn of the death of the Leader of Hastings Borough Council, Councillor Jeremy Birch earlier today."

His partner, Louise has given the following statement: "It is with great sadness that we announce the sudden death of Jeremy Birch. The family would like to express their thanks to the critical care unit at the conquest hospital. We want it to be noted that the staff at the Conquest have been committed, compassionate and professional. We do not think we could have had a better service anywhere else. "

Police hunt for man wanted for breaching his licence

Christopher George is wanted by police Credit: SUSSEX POLICE

Police in Brighton and Hove are searching for 51-year old Christopher George, who is wanted for recall to prison for breaching the terms of his release licence.

George, who is described as 5'8", of medium build, with blue eyes, has his initials, CG, tattooed on fingers of his right hand, and the West Ham United crest tattooed on his right leg.

He was on licence part way through his sentence for causing grievous bodily harm but has now failed to comply with the release conditions. He is known to visit Brighton and Hove.

Chatham celebrates 250th anniversary of HMS Victory

HMS Victory was launched from Chatham in 1765 Credit: Historic Dockyard Chatham

Chatham's Royal Dockyard is celebrating the 250th anniversary of the HMS Victory with a new exhibition.

The warship was launched from Chatham's Old Single Dock on 7 May 1765 and the Royal Dockyard will feature 22 items on loan from the National Maritime Museum.

The bullet which killed Lord Nelson will be on show Credit: Royal Collection

The centrepiece of the exhibition is HMS Victory’s figurehead on loan from the National Museum of the Royal Navy, Portsmouth.

HMS Victory is one of the world's most famous warships, especially well-known for being the ship on which Lord Nelson died during the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805.

This model of HMS Victory will be on display Credit: Historic Dockyard Chatham

Curiosity nearly kills cat with taste for shoelaces

Garry the cat got himself into a tangle Credit: PDSA

Vets have saved the life of a cat who got himself into a tangle after developing a taste for shoelaces and hair bands.

Garry, a two year-old black and white cat from Hove, was undergoing routine tests at Brighton PDSA Pet Hospital, when vets discovered an unusually large mass in his stomach.

His owner Ana Barbosa was told to prepare for the worst, with a tumour suspected as the likely cause.

During emergency surgery, vet Jess Maguire discovered the shoe laces and hair bands, along with bits of plastic in Garry’s stomach.The items could have killed the cat, but he appeared to be suffering no ill-effects.

I’d washed some laces from my trainers, which went missing. I never for one moment thought that Garry was the reason why!

– Ana Barbosa, Garry's owner
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