Balmashanner light show set to commemorate 75th Anniversary of VE Day

The iconic Balmashanner Statue in Forfar is set to be the centre of a lightshow to commemorate VE Day and as a sign of appreciation to all NHS and frontline key workers.

The light show organised by ANGUSalive in partnership with Angus Council, and with support from various partners, will see the iconic monument located on Balmashanner Hill, known locally as “Bummie”, lit up to celebrate the important day.

The 2 ½ hour display on Thursday 7th May will see large spotlights and moving lights shining around the monument from around 9pm–11.30pm, and is part of a number of online activities to commemorate the end of the Second World War in Europe.  Residents that are able to view and enjoy the spectacle safely from their own homes are encouraged to share any photos or videos on social media.  Thereafter, the monument will remain lit blue every evening in support of our wonderful NHS staff, carers and keyworkers and to mark the 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe (VE) Day on Friday 8th May.

The Balmashanner statue was built in 1921 to commemorate servicemen of the town. A plaque above the entrance reads ‘Their name liveth for evermore. Erected in Memory of the men of Forfar and District who fell in the Great War 1914-18’. The building was dedicated by Queen Mary on the 11th September 1921 and comprises a square tower, with battlements and turret, built from local sandstone. 

Audrey Hood, ANGUSalive Theatre Manager explains more about the light show idea. She said: “We have been lighting up our venues across Angus on Thursdays at 8pm to show our support and appreciation for the amazing NHS staff, carers and keyworkers working on our frontline with Signal Tower in Arbroath, Montrose Sports Centre and the Reid Hall in Forfar being lit up.

“Now in this important week with the 75th Anniversary of VE Day on Friday, we thought a fantastic idea could be to focus on an iconic war memorial in Angus. Helping the community celebrate the important date, the heroes of yesterday and today from afar with a symbolic light show that will illuminate the sky.”

“We couldn’t have organised this without the immense support of many partners including Duncan Gillies DGLX who puts together the light displays. It’s important to highlight however that this event is to be enjoyed from afar, so no-one needs to make a trip to see it.”

“We would also like to take this opportunity to express our gratitude and appreciation to Duncan Gillies DGLX, Apex Power Solutions in Portlethen, Tayside Contracts, Angus Council, and A M Phillips.  The lighting of Balmashanner Hill monument would not of been possible without these companies.”

The Provost of Angus, Cllr Ronnie Proctor said, “I am delighted to see this very visual reminder of what our parents, grandparents and great grandparents would have witnessed throughout the war years. It is heartbreaking that so many of the events planned for VE Day have had to be cancelled as it’s important to remember the sacrifices that were made.

“However, we have our own battle to fight just now, so this creative solution is very welcome and I’m delighted to see this partnership come together to make it happen.”

People can find information about the activities planned for VE Day at https://www.angusalive.scot/at-home/