THERE will be a wartime theme to this month’s Gainford Big Weekend celebrations.

The annual two-day event, which takes place on the village green, will be officially opened by Teesdale MP Helen Goodman, on Saturday, June 21, at 1pm, followed by a wartime themed fancy dress competition.

The Old 68th Durham Light Infantry Display Team will perform a display from the Napoleonic wars and there will be sports, a climbing wall, stalls, a beer tent and live music from local band Savage Myrtles.

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A celebration dance takes place in the marquee that evening, from 7.30pm to 11pm, with music from swing trio The 3Tones, aimed at all age groups.

Tickets for the dance cost £10 and must be pre-booked.

On Sunday morning, villagers are invited to a service of commemoration and peace, in the marquee, hosted by local churches, at 11.30am, with music from folk group, Geganforde.

A flowering peace tree will be on display for people to write messages of prayer to hang on its branches.

A village picnic follows the event, with entertainment from the Stockton Darlington Ukulele Express and family games.

There will also be an exhibition about Gainford during the First World War, at St Mary’s Church, hosted by the Gainford Local History Group.

The event includes the results of research carried out by retired policeman Dave Pullen into the history of Gainford men who died fighting for their country during the conflict.

The display is open both days, from 10am to 4pm.