London plans to celebrate the 50th anniversary of V-E Day in grand style


January 22, 1995|By New York Times News Service

Q: What events will take place in London this May to celebrate the 50th anniversary of V-E Day?

A: May 8, marking the 50th anniversary of victory in Europe in World War II, will be a public holiday in Britain. Throughout the year, scores of events will be held to celebrate the occasion, although the official theme will be one of peace and reconciliation. Commemorative events will also be held for V-J Day, Aug. 15, marking victory over Japan and the end of the war.

The focus of events in London will come on the weekend of May 6-8 in Hyde Park, with a variety of exhibitions, performances and entertainment. At 8 p.m. May 8 Queen Elizabeth II will light a beacon in the park, to be followed by the lighting of many similar beacons across the country. Following are some of the many other events:

* The Royal British Legion, an organization of ex-servicemen, is staging a Hyde Park concert May 6, with a 4,000-member choir, and a "Golden Gala Evening" at the Royal Albert Hall July 12. There will be free access to the concert, but no seating provided. Tickets for the gala, from $46.50 to $62, can be reserved through the Royal Albert Hall Ticket Shop, (44 171) 589 8212.

* Imperial War Museum, Lambeth Road, London SE1 6HZ, (44 171) 416 5000, will present a "Victory Festival" from March 17 to Aug. 28 that will include an exhibition about London at war. Open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission is $6, calculated at $1.55 to the pound; children $3.80. Admission is free after 4:30 p.m. and on V-E Day and V-J Day.

* Victoria and Albert Museum, Cromwell Road, South Kensington, London SW7 2RL; (44 171) 938 8349 (recorded information), (44 171) 938 8441 (general information). Until March 19 an exhibition called "Warworks, Women, Photography and the Art of War" will present images of war through the eyes of 11 female artists working with photography. Open 10 a.m. to 5:50 p.m. from Tuesday to Sunday, noon to 5:50 p.m. Monday. A $7 donation is requested ($1.50 for children).

* National Army Museum, Royal Hospital Road, London SW3 4HD; (44 171) 730 0717. A "Victory for Europe" exhibition will be presented, but full details have not been made final. Open daily from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Free.

* National Portrait Gallery, St. Martin's Place, London WC2H OHE; (171) 306 0055. Gallery 16A on Level 2 will show portraits of men and women who played a role in Britain in the postwar period. Free. Open Monday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sunday noon to 6 p.m.

Free information sheets listing V-E and V-J Day events in London and outside London will be available at London Tourist Information Centers at Heathrow Airport Underground station, Liverpool Street Station, Victoria Station and the Selfridge's store on Oxford Street.

The Southern Tourist Board has set up a telephone information line about V-E and V-J Day events at (0891) 88-1945. It can be dialed only in Britain and costs from 60 to 75 cents a minute, depending on the time of day.

Q: A friend and I are planning to spend a week in Hong Kong in March. How do we find reputable tailors to make men's and women's suits, and what should we expect to pay?

A: A 200-page booklet called "Shopping" published by the Hong Kong Tourist Association would seem to answer your needs. The booklet, which is available only at the association's offices in Hong Kong, lists 26 tailors on Kong Kong Island and more than 100 in Kowloon. All belong to the association, which says it insists that members offer value for money, accurate representation of products sold and prompt resolution of justified complaints.

Following are four taken at random from the booklet:

* Ideal Tailor, Suite 127, 1/F., Prince's Building, Chater Road, Central, Hong Kong; (852) 2522 4861.

* Loa Hai Shing, 201-206 Tak Shing House, 20 Des Voeux Road, Central, Hong Kong; (852) 2523 6167.

* The Success Shop, AR209, Princess Shopping Plaza, Hotel Miramar, 118 Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon; (852) 2366 7974.

* Winston Company, Shop 106, 1/F., Far East Mansion, 5-6 Middle Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon; (852) 2366 7924.

For top-quality suits for men or women, expect to pay from $500 to $750. Suits at $250 are also available.

To get a copy of the "Shopping" booklet when you arrive, contact one of the following Hong Kong Tourist Association offices, all of which can be reached at (852) 2807 6543, fax (852) 2806 0303:

* Star Ferry Concourse, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon (open 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday).

* Jardine House, Shop 8, Basement, 1 Connaught Place, Central, Hong Kong (9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday and Sunday).

* Hong Kong International Airport (8 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. daily).

For general information, contact the Hong Kong Tourist Association, 590 Fifth Ave., New York, N.Y. 10036; (212) 869-5008.

Q: We are planning a trip to Sweden in June. How can I get in touch with local tennis clubs and perhaps set up a game with a local player?

A: The more than 200 tourist offices in Sweden can put you in touch with local clubs. For a list of the offices, write to the Swedish Travel and Tourism Council, 655 Third Ave., New York, N.Y. 10017; (212) 949-2333.

Q: I am interested in visiting Dubai. Can you tell me how to get tourist information about it?

A: You should write asking for a brochure to Information Department, Embassy of the United Arab Emirates, 3000 K St. N.W., Washington, D.C. 20007; (202) 338-6500.

Q: I would like to rent a beachfront villa in February in either Barbados, Antigua or St. Martin. How would I start looking?

A: A good place to begin is the Caribbean Tourist Organization, 20 E. 46th St., New York, N.Y. 10017, (212) 682-0435. It can either help you directly or tell you where to go next.

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