Crown is Sunderland family’s memento of VE Day

VE DAY MEMENTO: Heather McLoughlin with the crown given to her late father Arnold Moore.

VE DAY MEMENTO: Heather McLoughlin with the crown given to her late father Arnold Moore.

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A CROWN snatched in the throes of victory has become a Sunderland family’s symbol of VE Day.

Heather McLoughlin’s father, Arnold Moore, was in London on the original VE Day, as the nation’s capital hosted the party of the century.

A former Merchant Navy engineer, he was working as the chief engineer of the Thames seagoing tug Cervia at the time, and was celebrating in Oxford Street when he was handed the crown by an American sailor.

Heather, 76, of East Herrington, said: “An American sailor had retrieved it from a lamppost outside Selfridges, he’d asked my dad to hang on to it, but he didn’t give it back.”

Mr Moore, who passed away in 1972, aged 72, bought the memento back to the North East and it has since become a focal point for the family’s celebrations for the Coronation and other milestone VE Day anniversaries.

“I was only little at the time of the first VE Day,” recalls Heather. “But my father was a great talker and he would often talk about the VE Day celebration in London. It might be the only sign of its time left.

“It was always kept on top of the wardrobe and when my parents passed away I asked it I could have the crown. We do look after it, it’s in good condition considering how old it is.”