A special commemoration event was held to remember all those who lost their lives to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Flower planting, dedications, and a musical concert all took place to remember the losses people have experienced over the past two years due to coronavirus.

The efforts began on Saturday morning, when volunteers planted 5,000 snowdrops between the Mercury Theatre and the Roman wall in Colchester in the hope the flowers will blossom in the spring of next year.

Visitors were later invited to add rainbow-coloured fabric strips to a wooden ladder, with each piece of fabric representing a loss that people have experienced during the pandemic.

In the evening, the theatre played host to a full house as a varied programme of activities and live performances was offered to the audience.

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BBC Essex presenters Sonia Watson and Ben Fryer were the compères throughout the evening, which included performances from the British Army Band Colchester, Essex Young Musician of the Year Madeline Robinson, and Anthony Roberts, the director of Colchester Arts Centre.

Colchester mayor Robert Davidson opened the event.

He said: “Tonight, we join together as friends, as families, as key workers, and as volunteers – in fact, the whole of Colchester’s community – to commemorate and remember the loves, lives and loses of the last two years.

“These two years have been very difficult and a trying time for all of us, and now seems the right time to pause and reflect and remember those that we’ve lost and also give thanks, of course, to those in our communities who so unselfishly supported others during the pandemic.”

Speaking after the event, Mr Davidson added: “The Covid commemoration event captured [the community spirit] perfectly, providing a moving and memorable moment for the whole community to give thanks, honour those who served, celebrate the people we loved and lost, and once again look forward to a brighter future together.”

Steve Mannix, executive director of the Mercury, added: “The concert gave us all a chance to praise those people and remember dearly the ones we have lost.

“We are proud to have been a part of that.”