IN 1945 my late father, Peter Samuel Winton, was 18 years old and a merchant seaman sailing from Southampton on the dangerous Atlantic Convoy Run.

As VE Day approached, unknown at the time to anyone, dad was aboard the Blue Star Line ship The Norman Star. The vessel was heading to Montevideo in Uruguay to load up with meat to bring back to the UK.

Whilst in dock in Montevideo the crew arranged to perform a ships review for the local dignitaries at the Victoria Hall with the show scheduled to begin at 9:30pm, May 7, 1945.

The big butch crew – that took the stage name`The Normaniacs` – were predominantly dressed as Ballerinas and the show was apparently a great success.

In the photo my Father is the tallest at the back, and had his own skit as `Winnie the Locust`.

Daily Echo:

As the show was finishing, the UK Government announced on the Radio the war was over, it was VE Day.

That was when the party really started. Dad always maintained (tongue-in-cheek) that, as the show was already in full swing, theirs must have been one of the first parties for that great occasion.

Last year, whilst in Montevideo, I sought out the Victoria Hall and found the stage they were on.

I had come prepared. I had with me a Ballerina Outfit.

Daily Echo:

Trying to explain what I wanted to do to the staff there was slightly awkward, I disappeared behind a curtain and came out dressed in a tutu, vest, and tights, then had my picture taken on the stage.

A great thing for me to be where my dad had stood all those years ago.

From John Winton

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