Sell-Out Event Commemorates D-Day Anniversary

The Three Belles with the Bevan Boys

The Three Belles with the Bevin Boys

Yesterday afternoon’s celebration of the wartime years was a sell out.

Visiting and island-based performers played to a packed Town Hall as Scilly commemorated the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings.

Topping the bill at the ‘Keep Smiling Through’ event was professional 1940s tribute artists The Three Belles and instrumental group the Bevin Boys.

The women met at university in Portsmouth and now tour the country singing songs of the wartime years. Both groups are busy with the anniversary events this year but they say they were pleased to squeeze Scilly into their schedule, as none of the six had been here before.

Aneka from The Three Belles says they realise how important the music is to some of the older members of the audience, many of whom will remember the Andrews Sisters and the Glen Miller Band.

Organisers Jenny Byers (left) and Beth Hilton

Organisers Jenny Byers (left) and Beth Hilton

Jenny Byers organised the event with help from Beth Hilton, who had the initial idea. Jenny says while the islands bands were excellent, the visiting performers really made it special because they focus on music from the period.

Some attendees dressed in period clothing and St Mary’s hairdresser Rosanna Hogan styled women’s hair according to the era.

Beth is fascinated by the era and later this week she’ll travel to Normandy to pay her respects. She says the community spirit brought out by the event has been amazing.

A number of the Memory Café regulars went along for the afternoon street party inside the Town Hall.

Jenny says the music brought back some special memories for them, with many talking about their lives during the wartime years.

She says seeing everyone so happy has been wonderful and she’s delighted with how the day turned out.

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