A COMMUNITY-led tribute of music, song and lights will conclude Stockton’s 1,245 Sunflowers Project next week to commemorate the outbreak of the First World War.

Families, individuals and community groups are invited to bring their cut down sunflowers to the Parish Gardens in Stockton from Saturday, August 2 until Tuesday, August 5.

Young volunteers will help them to display the flowers and help turn the town gold in honour of those who fought and died during the war.

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The closing tribute will then start in the Parish Gardens on the evening of Monday, August 4, the 100th anniversary of the start of the Great War.

Lights across the gardens will be switched off at 10pm making way for Stockton’s war memorial to be lit golden as a symbolic reminder of the lives that were lost.

Stockton’s book of remembrance, which lists the town’s 1,245 fallen soldiers, will be displayed in Parish Gardens and visitors will be invited to light one of many hundreds of candles in the garden.

At precisely 11pm to the sound of Church Bells a home-fire will be lit, burning overnight for 1,245 minutes. A solemn reading of names will take place into the early hours and people will be welcome to stay and keep watch throughout the vigil.

The Mayor of Stockton, Councillor Barbara Inman, will light a candle from the home-fire in memory of the unnamed soldiers who lost their life in battle.

The 1,245 Sunflowers Project has seen has seen free packs of sunflower seeds handed out and planted to represent the borough's fallen soldiers.