George shares his memories of VE Day celebrations in Lisburn

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Lisburn man George Dickson, who was fourteen at the time, has been reminiscing and sharing his memories of VE Day in the town in May 1945.

As news filtered in that Germany had surrendered, there were jubilant celebrations throughout Lisburn, with many congregating in the Wallace Park for a bonfire party.

George Dickson speaks about his memories of growing up during WW2. US1520-520cd  Picture: Cliff Donaldson

George Dickson speaks about his memories of growing up during WW2. US1520-520cd Picture: Cliff Donaldson

“I was a member of Christ Church CLB and we went out on VE Day with the bugles from the church and marched around the town to let everyone know what was happening,” George remembered.

“We made sure we woke everyone up and I don’t think anyone got to sleep again that night.

“The biggest bonfire in Northern Ireland was in Wallace Park and the RAF did a fly over.

“The Home Guard were there as well and did a mock battle.

“Ivan Vaughn was dressed as Hitler and he was taken prisoner by the Home Guard.

“Very few people had radios then but news filtered through.

“It was a fantastic night.”

George also remembers enjoying a celebratory party in one of the military Nissan huts in Lisburn.

“A lot of the army was staying a San Souci Gardens and there were Nissan huts at the back which they let us use for a party,” he explained.

“The whole of Benson Street held a massive party that weekend.”

During the Second World War George lived with his family at Long Kesh and has vivid memories of aeroplanes flying overhead.

He also remembers the night the Belfast Blitz started.

“The RAF and the army were playing a rugby match that day.

“I was standing with one of the officers and a plane went overhead.

“He turned to me and said ‘That was a Jerry on reconnaissance’.

“That night the blitz started.

“The German planes came over and dropped flares to see where they where.

“They were looking for Long Kesh but they never got it.

“We had an old English Sheepdog and he started to cry.

“He was terrified and that’s how we new it was starting. He was scared of the searchlights.

“There were 850 bombers over Belfast between 11.30pm and four in the morning.”

Despite living through the Blitz, George always had a passion for aircraft and later in life he went on to serve in the Royal Observer Corps, where he helped to map the routes of planes.

“There was nothing else for me, I was passionate about planes,” added George.