COMMUNITIES across Wharfedale are being warned to prepare for ‘very different looking’ Remembrance events this year.

The coronavirus pandemic and its impact on social gatherings means that many parades, services and wreath-laying ceremonies across Leeds have either been cancelled or scaled down.

There will be no official service at Pool-in-Wharfedale’s cenotaph at all this year while in Otley the usual Remembrance Sunday parade has been called off.

Otley Town Council Chair Councillor Richard Hughes said: “After a church service with restricted numbers on November 11 there will be a socially distanced walk to the Memorial Garden where there will be a one way system in operation, with Otley Bellman Terry Ford calling for each organisation to lay its wreath.

“Due to COVID-19 guidelines some organisations will lay their wreaths on Monday, November 9 and Tuesday, November 10 in time for the service on Wednesday, November 11 at 11am.

“Residents are being asked not to attend the Memorial Garden for the laying of the wreaths due to social distancing restrictions.”

Bramhope & Carlton Parish Council, meanwhile, intend to mark Remembrance Sunday - November 8 - with a simple ceremony that will pay tribute to the fallen while complying with the current coronavirus guidelines.

The traditional parade from the Village Hall to the Memorial Gardens will not take place. Instead, a limited number of representatives from the Royal British Legion, the Parish Council, the police and the youth organisations will assemble at the Memorial Gardens at 10.45am, joined by Reverend Tom Lusty and the Reverend Roger Smith.

The key usual elements of the ceremony - the two minute silence, the Last Post, the laying of wreaths, the names of the fallen, and prayers and readings - will be included but the event will be significantly shorter than usual.

There will then be a short service at the Methodist Church with attendance by invitation only. It is hoped to live stream the event to the community but residents are being asked not to gather for the ceremony and to stay at home.

Council Vice-Chair Councillor John Howard said: “We felt that it was important to hold a ceremony, however simple, and that if at all possible we should pay our respects to those who sacrificed their lives.

“Remembrance Day has been observed in Bramhope for one hundred years and we are reluctant to break the tradition. At the same time we are very aware of the risks of Covid so the event has been planned in accordance with current government guidelines.”

Due to the coronavirus risk there will not be the usual service or military parade at Victoria Gardens in Leeds this year.