V.E Day with St Charles Borromeo Exhibition

The story behind the exhibition

In January 2020 I received a call from the Head Teacher at St. Charles Borromeo, Mr Holt, asking me to create a series of bespoke workshops to help the school celebrate the 75th anniversary of VE Day.

I worked with the school to organise the activities and I was even able to take a look at the school’s logbook from the Second World War, an incredible piece of history!


St Charles Borromeo worksheetSadly due to the Coronavirus outbreak these plans have had to be postponed, but we didn’t want all the hard work and enthusiasm the school had put into the VE Day celebrations to go to waste. So at the end of April I sent them this worksheet, in which students were invited to create work inspired by six items from our Second World War collection for us to use in an online exhibition.

The response has been phenomenal! Within a week I was sent over seventy entries, which ranged from poems to beautiful works of art and even interviews with grandparents. All of this work has been created without access to art supplies and many of the other resources the children are used to having in the classroom, making their efforts even more impressive!

Explore the Exhibition!

The children created work inspired by six objects in our collection. Click on the links below to see what they created!

Union Jack Handkerchief

go to Union Jack Handkerchief
Unexploded Bomb Sign

go to Unexploded Bomb Sign
Bombed Houses

go to Bombed Houses
V. E. Day Tea Party

go to V. E. Day Tea Party
Children riding a pony

go to Children riding a pony
Children's Street Party

go to Children's Street Party
Image of two land girls who were working on Bell Farm, Hersham

Message from the Learning Officer

Despite the challenges of the last year, the students of St Charles Borromeo have created a collection of work which is at times both joyful and sorrowful, optimistic and startlingly insightful. It is clear that many of the students have used their own experience of the uncertainty and disruption caused by Coronavirus to better understand the challenges faced by children and families 75 years ago, making this project even more incredible.

We would like to thank the students of St Charles Borromeo for their wonderful responses and enthusiasm for the history of their local area.  I would also like to thank their teachers, who took the time to organise and collate the entries despite the many challenges they are currently facing. I would especially like to thank Mr Holt and Mrs Rand without whose help none of this would have been possible.

– Jodie Altham, Learning and Outreach Officer

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