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Lost VE Day photo found in Ipswich loft just before 75th anniversary

PUBLISHED: 07:30 07 May 2020

Nicki Yucel’s famly members taking part in a VE Day street party in Ipswich. Nicki’s mum (Maureen Blomfield) is on the left (11 children along). Picture: Supplied by Nicki Yucel

Nicki Yucel’s famly members taking part in a VE Day street party in Ipswich. Nicki’s mum (Maureen Blomfield) is on the left (11 children along). Picture: Supplied by Nicki Yucel

Supplied by Nicki Yucel

An Ipswich woman came across a lost photo from VE Day in her loft - just as the nation is preparing to celebrate the 75th anniversary on Friday.

Maureen with the American airman Rex Cooperman, who was known as Candyman. Picture: Supplied by Nicki YucelMaureen with the American airman Rex Cooperman, who was known as Candyman. Picture: Supplied by Nicki Yucel

Nicki Yucel, a teacher of foundation learning at One Sixth Form College, found the historical snap while tidying her loft during lockdown.

The photo shows her mum, Maureen Still, nee Blomfield, who is now 81, nan, Rose Blomfield, and two uncles, Barry and Reggie, taking part in a VE Day street party in Shaftesbury Square, just off Rope Walk, on May 8, 1945.

She said: “It was great to find the photo and to have a record of this historical occasion.

Nicki, said, “My mum thinks the VE Day street party was in the afternoon - around 2 to 4pm.

s a newspaper article from America where Maureen Still (nee Blomfield) met up with Rex Cooperman. Picture: Supplied by Nicki Yucels a newspaper article from America where Maureen Still (nee Blomfield) met up with Rex Cooperman. Picture: Supplied by Nicki Yucel

“The Lord Mayor of Ipswich even joined them for the party and a couple called Mr and Mrs Butcher arranged the big tea tables with cloths and bone china. They ate sandwiches (which she thinks were spam) followed by jelly, blancmange and little cakes. The children got orange squash and the adults drank tea.

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“They had music played of that time, including There’ll be blue birds over...` and We’ll Meet Again, and the party finished with everyone singing the national anthem, with the music blaring out of the big gramophone speakers.

“Everyone was so happy the war was over and it was a wonderful event she will never forget.”

Nicki Yucel at One Sixth Form College, where she co-ordinated a project of 2,000 poppies in 2018 Picture: JOHN NICENicki Yucel at One Sixth Form College, where she co-ordinated a project of 2,000 poppies in 2018 Picture: JOHN NICE

Nick’s mum is on the left of the photo, 11 children along, and her uncle, Barry Blomfield, is 10 children along. Her grandmother Rose is in a floral coat with dark hair to the right of the large speaker at the back, with her hand on her hip. Three people to her right is her uncle, Reggie Blomfield.

READ MORE - Wartime railway heroine Gladys shares her VE Day memories

Nicki added: “I also found a picture of my mum aged five in 1945 with an American pilot who was stationed in Suffolk. He was locally known as the Candyman, as he innocently gave my mum and other children at Christchurch Park candy bars, and she remained in touch with him for 60 years following their initial meeting.

“They even had a reunion in Tehachapi, California, 45 years after the Candyman (real name Rex Cooperman) left Suffolk to return to America, before he passed away in 1999 at the age of 82.”

Mrs Yucel has organised a VE Day Zoom quiz for 20 colleagues at One and she is also planning a Zoom VE quiz and singsong with current and former One students and staff on Saturday morning.


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