Downham’s celebrations were arranged by the VE Day Committee members who quickly got to work arranging a programme – which was made public by means of loudspeaker-equipped cars.
A service of thanksgiving was held at 11am at St Edmund’s parish church, followed at 3pm by a united open-air service on the Market Place.
The trumpet and drum band of the 1016 (Downham and district) Squadron of the Air Training Corps, under F/O R. Goodrum, paraded through the main streets of the town during the afternoon.
A large crowd gathered in the Market Place in the evening when there was dancing and singing to music supplied by Mr Hubert Mann’s amplifier and by a band consisting of Messrs H Mann, E Gunns, E Grange and J Grange. The King’s speech was relayed to the crowd.
As dusk fell, a huge bonfire was lit at The Howdale. The material for the fire had been collected by the Boy Scouts and a grand blaze resulted. Someone found a good store of pre-war fireworks which made a fine display.
Back at the Market Place, dancing went on until just before 2am.
On the following day, Thursday, August 16, a free cinema show for children aged under 14 was arranged, followed by a tea in the Town Hall and a children’s fancy dress parade.
In the evening, in the Market Place, celebrations continued with more music and dancing.