LARGE scale commemorations of VE Day planned in Leek for Friday (May 8) have been scuppered by the coronavirus lockdown. But the town council has stepped in to make sure the 75th anniversary of the ending of the Second World War in 1945 is still celebrated. Banners have been placed at war memorials in and around Leek as a mark of respect to those who sacrificed their lives fighting for their country. Leek town councillor, and chairman of the Friends of The Nicholson War Memorial, Richard Benefer has collaborated with fellow Friends committee member Dave Swarbrook, local graphic designer Alleyne Parry and sign-maker Dan Allen from Leek-based Supersport, to design, produce and install the banners. Coun Benefer said: “It is naturally disappointing that the planned VE day events have had to be cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. "However, as a town council we felt that it was still important to do something to mark the 75th anniversary of the ending of the war in Europe and honour the sacrifice of the local servicemen and women who made this possible. “We are also encouraging all Leek residents to undertake the ‘Nation’s Toast to the Heroes of WW2’ at 3pm on May 8, from the safety of their own home by standing up to raise a glass of refreshment of their choice and undertake the toast – ‘To those who gave so much, we thank you’. The Royal British Legion will be flying flags from the flagpoles of the Nicholson War Memorial as a further act of remembrance. Leek Town Councillor Matt Swindlehurst also asked people to take photos if they joined in the 'Front Garden Tea Party'. He said: "I hope you'll join in the 'Front Garden Tea Party' on May 8 to remember this auspicious occasion. Please send me your photos and we can put some of them up on the town council website." The names of 116 people from the area who were killed during the Second World War are listed among the fallen from both World Wars on the Friends of The Nicholson War Memorial website. A three-day event in Cheadle marking the 75th anniversary of VE Day has also had to be cancelled, but arrangements have been made for social media to mark the occasion with some online entertainment.