Vintage singer Hattie Bee's Virtual VE Day celebration

Vintage singer and Preston student Hattie Bee has created a buzz with plans for a Virtual VE Day celebration this Friday.

Tuesday, 5th May 2020, 7:00 am
Hattie Bee in performance

Hattie was determined the show must go on despite her planned VE Day performances being cancelled due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

The UCLan scriptwriting student decided to create an online day packed with entertainments.

Now, with the support of contacts ranging from make up and hairdressing experts to other singers, she has organised a day packed full of celebrations.

Turning back the clock - Hattie Bee sings in uniform

The 21 year old, who will be in charge of proceedings from a base at her family’s home in Skipton, a said: “Because I’m a 1940s singer when the lock down started all the events I normally sing at got cancelled.”

Hattie, who is also completing her final assignments for her degree this week, said: “I got on to Facebook and Instagram and created this Virtual VE Day page.”

There will be music, fashion, talks and themed tutorials for everyone to enjoy.

Hattie, real name Harriet Ball, found three sponsors for a best dressed contest:The Seamstress of Bloomsbury, who produces vintage clothes, local designer Karen Harvey of Reinvintaged and the Western Approaches museum in Liverpool.

Hattie Bee looking forward to this week's online Virtual VE Day celebration

There will be three categories Best Dressed Lady, Best Dressed Gentleman and Best Dressed Family with competitors asked to send in photos via Facebook and Instagram with the hashtag “VirtualVEDayBestDressed”.

She continued: “There will be a historical talk from a lady who does reenactments as a WVS (Women’s Voluntary Services member) who’s doing a tutorial on how to lay a table for VE day and food to cook on rations. We’ve a couple of vintage fashion talks from a fashion historian and dance tutorials from Swing Dancing UK.”

The celebrations will also have an international link. Hattie said: “Hopefully we’ve got a singer from Sweden joining us. We’ve got about 15 different singers joining in, all pre-recorded and hair and make-up tutorials.”

At 3pm, the time of the formal announcement that the war in Europe had ended, there will be a clap in honour of veterans. Another highlight will be a sound and video montage of people singing “We’ll Meet Again”. Hattie has made an online appeal for anyone who wants to join the virtual singalong to contact her for backing music, film themselves singing along and send the clip back.

Hattie, who sings songs mainly from the 1940s and 50s, counts numbers made famous by Dame Vera Lynn, The Andrews Sisters, Doris Day and Big Band music as music to her ears.

She said: “I have always had this love for the 1940s ever since I was tiny. When I was at primary school I really wanted to study World War II.”

When she was 12 her grandmother took her to a vintage weekend in St Annes and she was truly smitten. She said: “I do wear vintage clothes. My friends always say we feel a bit underdressed when with you. I’m going: ‘This is my casual’. It’s nice to be a bit different.”

Hattie also plans to go live via her own Facebook page to join in a national singalong with Vera Lynn at 9pm from her driveway and is setting up a JustGiving page to raise funds for the Royal British Legion as part of her Virtual VE Day.

* The online event will run from 9.25am to 6pm. See VirtualVEDay on Facebook

* Hattie herself is on Facebook at @HattieBee- Vintage Singer, on Instagram at @Hattiebeevintage and on Twitter at @Hattiebeevint