Film ID: YFA 758 Video of YFA_758 V.J. Celebrations V.J. DAY CELEBRATIONS 1945 Visitor TabsDescription Taken by an amateur filmmaker, this film captures Bradford V.J. Celebrations in August 1945. The film includes footage of people dancing and celebrating in the streets of Bradford as well as military processions. The film opens with shots taken from a height looking down onto crowds of people dancing. Singles as well as couples dance as a band plays outside Bradford Town Hall. Some women dance in pairs and others in groups. A crowd gathers around an older woman watching her as she dances back and forth on the street and smiles. There are some shots of illuminations that have been set up around the city centre. In the next scene are shots of more celebrations. Dignitaries including the Lord Mayor and Cecil Barnett stand on the steps of the Town Hall whilst a military procession marches past. The procession includes the Home Guard, the RAF and a military band. There are shots of the large crowds that have gathered on the pavement to watch and the mounted police men that are standing around watching what is going on. The next scene cuts to Bradford Cathedral where members of the clergy and the choir walk in procession out of the Cathedral, followed by the Mayor and other dignitaries. The film closes with another procession, this time including members of the Royal Navy, Wrens and Nurses. Context A rare chance to see scenes from the lesser filmed VJ Day, especially outside of London. In the wake of the recent VE Day celebrations, and with more time for it all to sink in, the long suffering people of Bradford are again out on the streets. Along with the obvious joy of the dancers, there is also some humour in the different styles of marching on display from all the service personnel. This is one of over 30 local films made over several decades by Bradford textile retailer Robert Sharp. He also filmed the VE celebrations in May. Although the war in Europe was over, the final end to the war wasn’t until Japan surrendered on 14 August, six days after the second atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki. There remained British troops stationed in the Far East, as well as the prisoners of war of the Japanese. So there was still much to celebrate – though perhaps somewhat muted by the horror of the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The film also shows Bradford before its post war deconstruction – much criticised, not least because Bradford only suffered one bombing raid, in August 1940.