THIS photograph was taken by an Echo photographer on VE night and I was printed in the newspaper soon afterwards.

I was five years old and we are celebrating VE Day at a massive bonfire on an area flattened by bombing opposite our house in St Alban’s Road, Sholing.

I am piggybacking on my uncle Austin Henley and my mother Gwennie has my cousin Pat Henley, Austin’s daughter, on her back.

Austin was an engineer and worked on Spitfires at Briggs factory (later Fords).

Although only five I have strong memories of this happy celebration together with our neighbours and their children. It was by far the best evening of my life!

The only other times I had been allowed out at night had been to dash into our horrible damp Anderson air-raid shelter dug into earth in our back garden with my mother.

From Martin Henley

Daily Echo: