BONFIRES so hot they cracked tenement windows. Jiving with the GIs in George Square. Singing and dancing with joy, knowing that finally, the war was over….

On May 8, 1945, Prime Minister Winston Churchill addressed the nation to announce the end of the war in Europe. It marked the end of almost six years of conflict which had separated loved ones and devastated families, abroad and closer to home. Glasgow and Clydebank, in particular, had suffered greatly at the hands of the German air raids.

To mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day, our readers have been sharing their memories of the celebrations.

John Weir, who lived in Shettleston, recalls walking from Parkhead Cross to George Square, where thousands of people had gathered to celebrate.

Glasgow Times:

“In every street along the way, there were people hanging out of windows, some were dancing in the street, playing bagpipes,” he says. “At George Square, people were singing and dancing - they were climbing the statues and hugging and kissing everyone. It was a total celebration.”

Read more: VE Day tribute to Glasgow soldier first to liberate Guernsey

Dan Harris, who lived on Garscube Road, climbed to the top of Ruchill Park on VE Day.

“We had a panoramic view across the city,” he recalls. “The last time I was there, the sky was covered with barrage balloons and this time, there were none. It was a very reassuring sight.

“My wife Marion, who was twelve at the time and had recently lost her mother, was at a street party, sitting on top of an air raid shelter watching the happy dancers below when a tall American soldier reached up and lifted her down, saying, “c’mon kid, join in the fun”, and started jiving with her. It made her day.”

George Square was “pandemonium”, adds Dan.

“The men in uniform were having a ball,” he smiles. “There were grannies jiving all over the place with men half their age. I went home with memories that have stayed with me all these years.”

Glasgow Times:

Jean Brown, who lives in the west end, was just 11 months old on VE Day, but she remembers her mother, also Jean, telling her about the day.

Read more: Dancing kept up our spirits during the war

“My mum had bought a fox fur collar - very fashionable at that time,” says Jean. “She very proudly wore it on VE Day as it was a special occasion. I remember as a young child being fascinated by it.”

She smiles: “I can’t see it being a fashion statement nowadays…”

Jim Tennant and his friends went to George Square straight from a night at the dancing (at the Dennistoun Palais) on VE Day.

“We had never seen anything like it,” he marvels. “The square was packed with revellers, the place was lit up with fairy lights. People were dancing with joy, knowing the war was over. It was exciting, but I just couldn’t help thinking of the many who had not survived to see it.”

Wooden pillars, which had until then been used to strengthen the buildings in case they were bombed, were used to make a bonfire.

“The heat was so fierce it ended up cracking some of the tenement windows,” says. Jim. “I was happy to see Glasgow being lit up again. My friend, who was an apprentice electrician, had the honour of putting the lights back on at the Hielanman’s Umbrella in Argyle Street.”

Jim adds: “Folk felt bonded - just like we do now, during our current crisis. The worst of times can bring out the best in us.”