So much feeling, pent up during the four weary year, could not be restrained, and the natural consequence followed – Tamworth went mad. It was noise, noise, everywhere. Fireworks cracked and fizzed, bells rang, whistles shrieked, motor horns honked, bugles sounded, kerosene tins rattled and every conceivable instrument that could make a row lent its weight to the saturnalia of sound.
Meanwhile, a rush had set in for Treloar’s corner, when an attempt at an organised demonstration was being made. Here a great crowd had gathered facing a lorry on which were the Mayor, returned soldiers, some prominent townsmen and anyone else who could get a footing. It was apparent that the Mayor was making a speech. The people listened to his worship reading the announcement of peace as cabled out. They wildly cheered. In fact they cheered everything. It was a scene such as Tamworth had never before witnessed.
Finally headed by one band the people formed a procession and marched up Peel Street, the other band following. In between were tin can ‘orchestras’, a fire-bell, kettledrums and other noise producers. Never had the bandsmen blown in such heartiness, and Peel street was traversed tine after time. The crowd seemed as if it would not become weary. Girls danced and young men threw hand-springs.
At the picture show the Mayor announced the news. This was the signal for a popular outburst. The national anthem and “Marsellaise” were played and flags of the Allies were thrown on the screen. It was no time for looking at pictures and the threatre emptied quickly. Dozens of motor cars packed with cheering passengers, honked up and down the street, and scores of lorries drawn by horses and men, to say nothing of the hand-drawn sulkies, loaded with boys, made up a tangle that will long be remembered. After parading up and down for an hour, a halt was called to gain a little breath, and in the interval the Mayor announced that a public holiday would be observed on Wednesday. Then off the procession started again and the scene was wilder than ever. Hundreds of children were out, and seemed as though they had no desire to go to bed. Unusually quiet citizens marched with little flags, their hair dishevelled and hats on the back of their heads. Even the women began to wear a dishevelled look after a while. The Chinese shopkeepers let off crackers in heaps, adding to the pandemonium.
The wild scene – one of the most remarkable that Tamworth has ever witnessed – gradually fizzled out towards midnight from utter exhaustion.