PLANS are in place for Armed Forces veterans to mark VE Day from the safety of their own homes today after outdoor celebrations were cancelled due to the pandemic.

Halstead’s branch of the Royal British Legion had planned to hold a grand party to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War in Europe.

The Party in the Park would have seen residents invited to celebrate at Halstead Public Gardens with a picnic and live music.

After Party in the Park was called off, the legion planned to hold a smaller event but that was also cancelled because of the outbreak.

Vice-chairman Stephen Arundell said: “Halstead Royal British Legion had a great Party in the Park event planned with an old-fashioned picnic, music, bands, historical stalls, re-enactors and loads more.

“Local shops would have been asked to decorate their windows in red, white and blue, World War Two-style, and the best window would have received a prize.

“Unfortunately we have had to cancel these events.

“We were then looking at a much smaller event in the park, but this would also have drawn people out and that will not do in these times.”

The branch still plans to mark VE Day today behind closed doors at the legion’s club on the Causeway, where social distancing can be enforced.

A handful of members will put together a special VE Day video which will then be posted on social media.

But plans for a Winston Churchill impersonator to recreate the wartime leader’s famous VE Day speech have been shelved.

Mr Arundell said: “We will be recording a video of Churchill’s VE Day speech and a bugler will then play both the National Anthem and Reveille at 15.00 hours on Friday, at Halstead Royal British Legion Club.

“This will be behind closed doors due to the current situation.”

To see the video search for Halstead Royal British Legion on Facebook.

Bells will also ring out from Halstead’s Holy Trinity Church at 3pm today to mark the anniversary.