AN enterprising north Wales town is to stage a virtual celebration of the day the Second World War ended 75 years ago.

Earlier this year, with the blessing of Llangollen Town Council, a small group began planning for a party to celebrate the milestone anniversary of VE Day.

The aim was to put it on at the town hall and to include a tea dance, music of the era and generally make merry.

The coronavirus lockdown appeared to put an end to the project, until they came up with the idea of staging the celebration online instead.

So on the bank holiday of Friday, May 8, the group will live streaming their VE Day Stay at Home Party via Facebook to what they hope will be a large social media audience.

The professionally-shot programme, which starts at 3pm and runs for half an hour, will feature memories of the wartime era recorded via Skype with a group of residents at the local Old Vicarage Care Home, favourite songs from the period such at A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square and Goodnight Sweetheart sung by local performers and a poignant wreath-laying ceremony by the town’s branch of the Royal British Legion.

Eleri Jones, a local actor and director currently on the trainee directorship at Theatr Clwyd, will perform local poet I D Hooson's The Red Poppy against the backdrop of 75 ceramic poppies placed behind the war memorial on Centenary Square.

The programme, which was pre-recorded observing strict social distancing rules, will end with host and well-known local singer Charlie Jones performing Dame Vera Lynn’s iconic We’ll Meet Again.

Deputy town mayor Cllr Isobel Richards, who heads the council’s Remembrance Day Working Group which organised the virtual party, said: “When the lockdown began we immediately cancelled our planned party at the town hall but then we decided that a version of the event could be streamed on social media.

“We have been extremely fortunate in having a professional programme maker who is based in Llangollen as director on the production and also being able to draw on the talents, in terms of organisation and performance, of quite a few people from this area.

“We were also very lucky to have a number of marvellous people still living in our community who remember the war very clearly and who allowed us to record their recollections of the time.

“While making the programme it became apparent there are many parallels between May 1945 and the national trauma we face at the moment.

"And what is unchanged is the determination of people to pull together to help one another get through the worst of times.

“During the preparation of the programme observing the correct social distancing advice was of paramount importance to all of us and we were careful to ensure that absolutely no risks were taken with people’s health.

“I hope everyone enjoys the programme, while staying safe at home. Cadwch yn ddiogel - we will all meet again in Llangollen.”

To coincide with the virtual party Llangollen Food Share is preparing gift packs for some of our town's elderly residents to help them celebrate the 75th anniversary.

They will each receive a special pack containing a cake, an apple, all donated by local businesses, a note and a surprise commemorative keepsake.

This is a joint effort backed by Llangollen Town Council, Llangollen Coronavirus Help Group and Llangollen Foodshare.

To tune into the VE-Day film visit the Facebook page.