VE DAY gave us a chance to look back and remember those who served on the front line, and on the home front, during the Second World War.

We owe that generation - the greatest generation - a tremendous debt of thanks.

Their sacrifices brought us the freedom we have now, and secured peace and prosperity in Europe.

In that two minute silence at 11 o’clock on Friday, I thought of my own family and the roles that my grandparents played in the last world war.

My father’s father was stationed in Greece, and met my grandmother while there. Terrible as the war was, my grandfather found love during it and had his quiet Lancastrian eyes opened to a world of new cultures.

My mother’s father worked at English Electric in Preston (later part of BAE) designing aircraft for the war effort. Some of my happiest and earliest memories are of watching - and sometimes helping - him dismantle and ‘improve’ objects around the house.

Neither of them really spoke about the war and nor did my respective grandmothers. It wasn’t an achievement - it was something far bigger that they, and everyone else they knew, played their part in. It was life, and they got on with it.

Well, I for one am incredibly grateful to them and quietly celebrated them at 11 o’clock.

Friday, of course, did not feature the celebration of that incredible victory that we had hoped for. It was a more muted affair, with another sunny weekend marked quietly and at home.

A few people on social media less-than-politely suggested to me that ‘hiding’ at home was no way to remember victory over Europe. I disagree.

That victory enshrined democracy across Europe. It ensured that governments acted at the will of their people and for their people. It is why we are now locked-down, to save lives and protect those most at risk in our society.

Addressing the nation on Friday, the Queen said it far better than I possibly could.

“But our streets are not empty - they are filled with the love and the care that we have for each other. When I look at our country today and see what we are willing to do to protect and support one another, I say with pride that we are still a nation those brave soldiers, sailors and airmen would recognise and admire.”

RECENT statistics appear to show that Barrow has a significant number of COVID-19 cases compared to other towns and parts of the UK.

A single case of coronavirus is worrying but figures like that can cause panic.

I’m in touch daily with the team at the Department of Health and Social Care and raised this with them when the figures were released.

They are, of course, already monitoring the situation alongside Public Health England. And they see no red flags in the data.

There are many factors at play but there are also many reasons why this isn’t a cause for panic. The first thing to remember is that it’s simply too early to really understand what this data means. Barrow by rights should be ahead of the national curve as we had early cases here. But the absolutely crucial point is that we’ve been testing earlier and more often in Barrow than in other parts of the county. This is thanks to the excellent work of the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust (UHMBT).

The more you test, the more positive results you will find.

It’s worth noting that South Lakes and Lancaster have the second highest rates in the country. Both are also served by our local hospital trust.

The key thing to note is that our local NHS is coping and doing an excellent job.

And they are able to do it because we are sticking to the rules. Thank you for all you’ve done to protect Furness this bank holiday.