Grantham VE Day Celebrations

Archive: Media Archive for Central England
ID No.: n/a
Title: Grantham VE Day Celebrations
Date: 8 May 1945
Film-maker: Walter Lee
Colour: Colour
Sound: Silent
Duration of complete item: 4 min. 30 sec.
Themes: Victory Celebrations


Amateur film shot by Walter Lee recording V E Day events held at Grantham in Lincolnshire on 8th May 1945.


The film has long descriptive series of intertitles (sometimes scrolling) which are summarised in this description. It opens with “For six long years we had awaited this momentous day ...”. The intertitles mention the “… thanksgiving service on St. Peter’s Hill under the chairmanship of the mayor …”. Following this, we see the mayor, various dignitaries and members of the clergy standing on the steps of the Grantham Guildhall on St Peter’s Hill. “The choir was provided by King’s School boys and High School girls. ...”. The choir is seen singing and a band from the Salvation Army is also visible; a crowd can be seen kept back behind a rope, the camera pans up the exterior of the Guildhall showing bunting and we also see that many people in the crowd have hymn sheets. “From the Guildhall window…”. A view of the very orderly crowd standing below the Guildhall, some bunting and decorations are visible. “As one wandered round the decorated streets…”. We see a street in Grantham, bunting and union flags are visible and crowds mill about on the pavement. Next a large crowd is seen on the green on St Peter’s Hill, a statue to Isaac Newton can also be seen. “…a service at St. Wulfram’s. …”. We see a street decorated with bunting, the spire of St Wulfram’s church is visible in the distance.


This title was deposited at the archive in March 2006 by Mrs M Pointer of Grantham with a number of other films.

The collection mainly consists of 16mm material shot before the Second World War but also includes transport films on standard 8mm film.

Grantham VE Day Celebrations was shot by Walter Lee who was born in 1891 in Grantham in Lincolnshire. He had a photographic business in the town and during the Second World War he was the ‘official’ photographer for a number of organisations including a local munitions factory and he also took pictures in his studio that were used in passbooks and security and identity cards.

During the war he kept a meticulous diary that recorded the impact of the conflict on his home town. Malcolm G Knapp has married this with photographs that Walter took during the period to produce the book Grantham: The War Years 1939-1945: A Pictorial History, published by Lincolnshire Books.

Walter was also an amateur film-maker and Grantham VE Day Celebrations is one of two titles held by MACE that were made by him. The second is a film shot on 21 September 1946 which records the day that the 6th Battalion of the Lincolnshire Regiment was given the freedom of the borough of Grantham.

What is interesting about both these films is the extensive use of intertitles and the importance he placed on providing contextual information about the footage that he was including.

Grantham VE Day Celebrations (1945)

Grantham VE Day Celebrations (1945)

Grantham VE Day Celebrations (1945)

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