Coronavirus forces rethink of Ellesmere's VE Day plans
Ambitious plans to commemorate the 75th anniversary of VE Day in Ellesmere have been abandoned because of the coronavirus lock-down.
But the chairman of the local branch of the Royal British Legion, Bob Mcbride, is encouraging people to organise a stay-at-home party and join in the national service of remembrance and thanksgiving at 11am next Friday.
“It’s a great disappointment that we can’t stick to our original plan,” he said, “but because of the crisis caused by Covid 19 pandemic we have had to adapt the way that we do things, just as people did in the Second World War.
“We have spent months working in partnership with the town council, church leaders and others to organise a full day of activities, with a bugler and piper, an evening concert at the town hall with the Porthywaen silver band and bell-ringing at the parish church.
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“Sadly, we can’t go ahead with those arrangements, but I’m hoping people will still get involved at home, by putting out flags and bunting, perhaps having a celebration picnic in their front garden, a door-step sing-along with neighbours and joining in with all the national activities on TV and online.
“It won’t be the same, of course because we must all ensure that social distancing is observed at all times, but I hope everyone will share in the spirit of the day and support the Legion’s contingency plans.
The Vicar of Ellesmere, the Rev Pat Hawkins will be streaming a short reflection and prayer on the Parish Church of Ellesmere Facebook page from 10am together with the names of 15 men, who died in the Second World War, who are commemorated on the town’s war memorial in St Mary’s churchyard.
After the national moments of remembrance, including a two minute silence at 11am, the Legion will be providing a VE Day 75 livestream on its website sharing stories and memories from those who lived and sacrificed during the Second World War. The programme will be live from 11.15 at 'www.rbl.org.uk/veday75' and on social media.
Later in the day, the legion has partnered with the BBC to honour and celebrate the Second World War generation with an evening of memories and music from 8pm on BBC One. Viewers are invited to enjoy a moment of celebration and thanksgiving during the programme by taking part in a UK-wide rendition of Vera Lynn’s ‘We’ll Meet Again’ at 9pm.
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