LANCASHIRE residents are being encouraged to get into the 'make-do' spirit and celebrate the 75th anniversary of VE Day at home.
VE Day marks the end of the Second World War in Europe, but the anniversary is having to be celebrated differently than planned because of the coronavirus outbreak.
Social distancing measures mean that gatherings and parties have had to be cancelled, but in their stead a range of virtual events and activities will still be available for people to take part in at home, during lockdown.
County Councillor Alf Clempson, Lancashire County Council's Champion for Armed Forces and Veterans, said: “With the current restrictions in place, we are encouraging everyone to enter in to the make-do spirit and remember the end of the Second World War in Europe at home.
“We want everyone to commemorate the 75th anniversary of VE Day safely. We may not be able to have the public celebrations many people planned, but we can still remember the heroes of World War II.
“It is extremely important to mark and remember VE Day, as it was a momentous time in our history. Many families will have lost loved ones as a result of the War and although VE Day was a time to mark and celebrate the end of the war in Europe, we need to remember all those who made the ultimate sacrifice for the sake of future generations.
“We look forward to the time when we can all 'meet again' to commemorate VE Day properly but, for now, I'd ask everyone to remember to stay safe and to continue social distancing at all times."
Care homes across the county are planning to hold special VE Day street parties and activities for residents.
Amongst them is Beacon View in Skelmersdale, who will have a walk down memory lane celebrations with music and Favordale in Colne a VE Day indoor street party.
Packs containing Union Jack bunting, flags and balloons have been specially made up so that residents are able to acknowledge the day.
Children and young people can also take part in the commemoration. Activities including a word search and a 'colour in your crown' template and other ideas on what can be done to mark the day are available at www.lancashire.gov.uk/catering/service-news/ve-day-celebrations
The Library service has made a wide variety of eBooks and eAudio books written during the war available on the Borrowbox app. A Second World War reading list is available at https://capitadiscovery.co.uk/lancashire/home
Lancashire Museums Service has also produced a special copy of the newspaper headlines that were used on VE Day. This can also be used to create your own personal celebration. This is available at https://redrosecollections.lancashire.gov.uk/news.
Lancashire Archives have also updated their guide to the archives available for the War. This is available at www.lancashire.gov.uk/media/916914/handlist29-ww2.pdf
Blogs are available including stories of the Kay-Shuttleworth family of Gawthorpe Hall, who served in the war. This is available at https://redrosecollections.lancashire.gov.uk/news.
Local historical photos showing VE Day street parties and parades are available from the Red Rose Collections. These are available to view at: https://redrosecollections.lancashire.gov.uk/news
The county council is also encouraging people to share their stories and contribute their family's connection to the Second World War by posting photos and stories on social media using #VEDay75.