A WARTIME singalong, a lone piper's lament and a virtual Cathedral service are among VE Day commemorations planned for the district.

Bradford Council had planned to mark the 75th anniversary of the end of the war in Europe with events across the Bank Holiday weekend, but due to coronavirus restrictions these have been altered so people can join in from home.

A recorded message from the Lord Mayor of Bradford, Cllr Doreen Lee, will be broadcast across the council’s social media and emailed to care homes. The email contains a link to a 20-minute video of wartime songs performed by local artists.

Original plans included a lone piper playing the Battle’s O’er lament and a piece commissioned for the 75th anniversary on the steps of Bradford Cathedral, to coincide with lone pipers across the UK. Now two pipers - one from the City of Bradford Pipe Band and one from the City of Leeds Pipe Band - have produced a video to be broadcast online at 2.55pm on Friday.

To help people celebrate at home, the council website offers ideas, resources and links, including how to hold a VE Day party with wartime recipes, a war songs playlist and templates for creating bunting. There's information on researching family history, children's activities and links to videos of wartime Bradford. The council wants people to share family photographs and stories from the war, as well as photos and videos of celebrating #BradfordVEDay75 at home.

Cllr Joanne Dodds, the Council’s Armed Forces Champion, said: “People will be disappointed that original plans to mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day have had to be cancelled, but it is important that we all do our bit to stop the spread of the coronavirus. We want to support everyone to celebrate, as well as reflect on the enormous sacrifice, courage and determination of people from across our communities who saw us through the Second World War. This is why we’ve put together the ideas and resources to help people do this from the safety of home."

Bradford Cathedral is holding an online celebration service at 3pm on Friday on its YouTube and Facebook channels. The Cathedral is also taking part in the ‘Big Picnic For Hope', a virtual get-together to honour military heroes past and present. Households are urged to have a picnic at home and share photos on social media. There are family activities on the cathedral's website, and a link to archive footage of VE Day in Bradford.

Over in Kirklees, a digitally streamed ceremony will include lighting up Cleckheaton Town Hall in red, white and blue.

A video message from frontline workers and war veterans will go live shortly before the Queen's broadcast to the nation at 9pm - the time her father, King George VI, gave a radio address in 1945 - followed by an online performance of We'll Meet Again by local singer Julia Wood, live from Castle Hill, joining a national singalong of Dame Vera Lynn's wartime anthem.

In Calderdale an online mini exhibition is showcasing one object a day from museum collections, each linked to the war, including gas masks, food packaging and uniforms.

National VE Day commemorations include a two-minute silence at 11am on Friday, followed by a Royal British Legion livestream, sharing memories from those who served in the Second World War.