Memory Lane: Celebrating peace - a century ago

Following the Allies’ victory in the First World War, the government declared Saturday, July 19, 1919 was to be a national day of celebration of victory, known as Peace Day.

Friday, 19th July 2019, 11:33 am
Blackpool's Peace Day celebrations in 1919

Today marks the 100th anniversary of Peace Day, during which the British people took to the streets to salute those who had given their lives to protect their freedom, those who had fought for King and country and celebrate the signing of the Treaty of Versailles three weeks earlier which formally brought the war to an end.Blackpool and towns across Lancashire, like plenty of other places across the country, hosted their own Peace Day celebrations, as our photos from the day show.For Blackpool, the celebrations centred around Talbot Square and the Town Hall.Thousands of people gathered to soak up the atmosphere and to celebrate end of the grim and desperate war years.They lined the streets with bunting, waved flags and celebrated to the sounds of the bands, wearing their best clothes and doning their hats.In one photo, the mayor of Blackpool Albert Lindsay Parkinson, is pictured next to a stall draped in a Union Flag. They are carrying what look like collection boxes for Geranium Day to support blinded soldiers and sailors. Elsewhere, Preston held its own celebrations.The town had been decorated to reflect how important the day was from the centre right out towards Fulwood. In town, the pavements of Church Street were flanked by rows of evergreen trees which stood to attention, as though marching down the hill towards Fishergate. Flags hung at regular intervals from the houses, constructing a wall of colour which showed the pride and joy of those beneath. Not even the threat of rain could dampen the spirits of the people of Lancashire as the drizzle of the previous night had given way to glorious sunshine. Wherever the people were celebrating, Peace Day marked a fitting tribute to the end of an important era, and an important victory in British history, to which the county of Lancashire made a valuable contribution.

A scene outside Blackpool Town Hall on Peace day 1919. The mayor Albert Lindsay Parkinson is pictured on the right
Street parties and outdoor celebrations to mark Peace Day in Blackpool, 1919

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A band entertains the crowds
Peace day celebrations in Preston