THESE families weren’t going to miss celebrating the end of the Second World War.

The picture was taken at a tea party at Cowley as everyone marked VE (Victory in Europe) Day on May 8, 1945.

The picture comes from Eileen Hawkes, of Begbroke, who writes: “The venue was the Queen’s Arms pub which stood at the corner of Kelburne Road and Church Hill Road.

“The party was under the veranda in the pub’s back garden alongside the Aunt Sally pitch.

“I was there with my mother and elder sister, I am told, but in my pram and out of the picture.

“I understand the local greengrocer, Mr Warren, donated a box of oranges – one for each child. I gather none had been available during the war.

“The pub was built along with the surrounding estate and shops in the mid-1930s, but sadly, it has since been demolished and replaced by blocks of flats.”

This was one of many parties and other celebrations organised in Oxford to mark the end of six years of war.

Bonfires were lit in many parts of the city, including big ones at Carfax and in St Giles, High Street and Broad Walk.

Two at the junctions of Bailey Road and Knolles Road, Cowley, and Ridgefield Road and Drove Acre Road, East Oxford, were so fierce they burned huge craters in the road surface.

Families grabbed everything they could to feed the fires, including old chairs, beds, mattresses, packing cases and anything else that would burn.

Celebrations were also held in all the county towns of Oxfordshire and many villages. Many churches held special services of thanksgiving.

There was also good news for the hundreds of evacuees, many of them children, who had sought refuge in the county.

They were now free to return home again.