VE Day (Victory in Europe) was the day that the allies formally accepted the unconditional surrender of Nazi forces and the end of Hitler's Third Reich.

Mayor Newham of Reading formally announced the end of the Second World War at Queen Victoria's statue on Friar Street outside the Town Hall. The day was celebrated on both a national and international scale, from the UK and the Commonwealth to Europe and America.

The people of Reading celebrated on mass with street parties held primarily for the children but also for the whole community to enjoy. Almost every street had made its own bonfire, around which local residents danced and sang or merely watched, with peaceful satisfaction. In the Reading suburbs every spare field or patch of grass was utilised for these celebrations.

The Berkshire Chronicle (now the Reading Chronicle) reported that the celebrations in Reading had been overwhelmingly positive, however due to lack of printing space it was impossible to publish photographs of them all. In this gallery you can view some of the published and unpublished photographs that we have in our collection here at Reading Museum.