To mark the 70th anniversary of Victory in Europe during the Second World War, Imperial War Museum North presents a major day of events including: exclusive free talks, film screenings and special activities on Sunday 3rd May. The event aims to reveal how celebration unfolded across Greater Manchester.

Events include:

• Talk by Dave Haslam reveals new research into 1940s Nightlife
• New archive film compilation depicts VE Day celebrations as they unfolded
• Objects on display for the first time – including an Oscar awarded to a film about the Allied victory in Europe
• New tours  explore personal stories such as the Victoria Cross recipient whose family learnt of his death after VE Day
• Talk by Julie Summers explains how fashion played a surprisingly important part in the war effort
• Visitors invited to meet IWM North veterans and share personal family memories on Twitter
• Dress up in vintage clothing and get your hair done for free by a 1940s stylist at a major day of free events at IWM North on Sunday 3 Mayahead of the anniversary

Based on new and ongoing research, DJ, author and cultural historian Dave Haslam will discuss the wartime music scene in a special talk about Nightlife in 1940s Manchester.  His talk and Q&A for visitors at 12pm on 3 May will reveal intriguing stories from an era when everything was rationed except the urge to go out dancing. Hear about the effect of wartime on nights out and the post-War flowering of basement clubs in the city. Haslam, who DJ’d more than 450 times at the famous Hacienda nightclub in Manchester in the 1980s, is now a renowned cultural commentator.

An exclusive new film from the North West Film Archive will premiere at IWM North at 1pm and 3pm on the same day. The previously unseen edited compilation of footage offers an insight into life on the home front during the Second World War. Shot in the North West of England, the film depicts a varied picture of civilian life, including emotional scenes in Manchester City Centre on VE Day as civilians and servicemen celebrate long into the night with street parties and impromptu sing-alongs in Manchester’s Piccadilly Gardens. The footage will be projected onto a 27ft high wall of IWM North’s Main Exhibition Space, surrounded by objects from IWM’s Second World War collection.

Objects new on display at IWM North to mark VE Day include the Academy Award (Oscar) awarded for the film True Glory (1945), which won best documentary for its depiction of the victory on the Western Front.

Visitors inspired by Haslam’s talk on nightlife can take part in a 1940s dance taster session in IWM North’s Main Exhibition Space. Meanwhile those inspired by Summers’ talk on fashion can get their hair done in an authentic 1940s style by a vintage stylist on site and share a #40sSelfie @IWMNorth on Twitter. Or come already dressed in your own vintage clothes to take part in a 1940s fashion parade, compered by Haslam.

Members of IWM North’s Veterans North group will be on hand throughout Sunday 3 May to share their own memories of VE Day, as IWM encourages everyone to discover more about this historic event and talk to people in their own families and communities who witnessed the day so that their memories can be shared with others on Friday 8 May to mark the anniversary itself.  #VEDayMemory

Free Entry; booking required for talks by Dave Haslam and Julie Summers at

By Michael Dickinson

Michael is the VultureHound Film Editor.