AS the 75th anniversary of VE Day approaches, arrangements are being made to help people in County Durham and Darlington commemorate the occasion safely at home.

To help residents mark the milestone, Durham County Council has launched a special webpage -, providing information about the virtual activities on offer, as well as links to online exhibitions, history videos and ideas on how to hold a VE Day party at home.

Parades cannot take place this year, but on VE Day, Friday May 8, shortly before the two minutes silence at 11am, people in County Durham can join together virtually for a recording of a bugler performing The Last Post.

This will be shared on the council’s Facebook and Twitter accounts. To follow the council on social media, visit, and

In Darlington a virtual street party on Friday, May 8 will be on the council’s Facebook page, featuring performances from a variety of local singers and contributions from staff at Head of Steam Museum and Crown Street Library.

Councillor Heather Scott, leader of Darlington Borough Council, said: “VE Day is a key day in our nation’s shared history, when we pause to remember the end of World War 2, and we had so much planned to celebrate the 75th anniversary.

“Although in the current circumstances we are not able to do that in person, we’re still aiming to make the day a special one and bring people together in a virtual sense.

“A big part of the day will be based around contributions from our residents and I do hope people take part, whatever their age.

“The last few weeks have shown so many examples of how the people of this town can pull together when the going gets tough. Let us take the opportunity now to celebrate together.”

Darlington residents can get involved in a variety of ways, by sending pictures or videos with performances of classic war time song or dances, pictures of VE Day preparations, or pay tribute to Darlington’s veterans.

Send all pictures and videos to, with as much information as possible including names and ages of the people in the images and any background information. They will be shared on Friday.

Meanwhile staff and volunteers at Durham County Record Office (DCRO) and the DLI Collection have also been busy creating online activities to help people find out more about this important period in history.

The DLI Collection exhibition has been postponed until later in the year, and the team is now calling on residents of all ages to design triangles for celebratory bunting. This will be displayed at the exhibition when it can go ahead. Templates can be downloaded at and decorated designs can be scanned to

The council will also share some of the designs on social media. Anyone who would like their design to be included, can send it to the team within a direct message on either Facebook or Twitter.

The DCRO exhibition, compiled by military historian Steve Shannon, meanwhile, has been moved online until it is able to take place. We have come through: Remembering VE Day 1945 features photographs, newspaper articles and other first-hand accounts from the time and is available at

Pupils across County Durham will also be marking the milestone, with children in school and those at home coming together virtually to learn more about the Second World War. DCRO’s education service has created a special learning pack to help schools teach children about this historic event. The free resource will soon be available on the Learning Zone at and teachers can contact the DCRO team on to request a copy.

At two County Durham schools, the activities have been inspired by the schools’ own logbook entries for 8 May 1945, which are cared for by DCRO. As well as staging tea parties at home and in school, pupils at St Cuthbert’s Roman Catholic Primary School in Crook and Aycliffe Village Primary School have been learning about what their predecessors did on that historic day - from parades and bonfires, to prayers, games and tending to the school garden.

County councillor Joy Allen, cabinet member for culture, said: “There are still lots of ways we can mark the milestone at home and celebrate this important anniversary together virtually. Not only is this an opportunity to honour those who fought for our freedom, but activities such as these can be beneficial, providing us with a different focus and a shared experience during a difficult time.”