Pub bells set to ring out on VE Day for nationwide virtual toast to veterans

CAPTAIN Tom Moore’s local pub will be kicking off a nationwide toast to veterans on Friday to mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day.

The 100-year-old Second World War veteran has captured the hearts of the nation and raised more than £32 million for the NHS.

At 3pm on Friday, publicans up and down the country will ring their pub bells and raise a glass in honour of war veterans – with Captain Tom’s local in Marston Moretaine, Bedfordshire, kicking things off.

Publican Karl Clark, who runs The Bell in the village, said: “Captain Tom has become a national hero for his recent sponsored walk but we want to make sure we also recognise his achievements during the Second World War and raise a glass to him and his fellow veterans.”

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The British Beer & Pub Association has called on its members, who represent more than 20,000 pubs and 90% of the beer brewed in Britain, to join the celebrations virtually.

It comes at a time when the nationwide shutdown of pubs to prevent the spread of Covid-19 has severely hampered the ability of pubs to play their traditional leading role as community hubs.

Despite the challenges, publicans across the country are determined to show their support and enable their local communities to find other ways to commemorate VE Day.

Across the country pubs have planned to deliver bottles of beer to their neighbours so they can still enjoy a toast from their driveways while others will join in with virtual toasts with their regulars over Facebook Live or Zoom.

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