THE traditional remembrance service at Pots and Pans will not take place this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, organisers have confirmed.
Instead there will be short services at the memorial in St Chad’s Gardens in Uppermill on Remembrance Sunday (November 8) and Armistice Day (November 11).
Both services, organised by the Saddleworth Branch of the Royal British Legion, will start around 10.50am, led by Rev Canon Sharon Jones, Saddleworth Team Rector.
The events will be held in line with the current government guidance with just six people allowed to attend.
Alison Clowes, vice chairman of the RBL Saddleworth Branch, said: “This has not been an easy decision but it is for the safety of everybody.
“We would love to have hundreds of people there but obviously that is not possible and we have to do it safely and not put people at risk.
“Although we cannot stop people from visiting the Pots and Pans memorial, we would strongly discourage people from doing so to avoid large numbers and reduce risk of incidents.
“I know we won’t be able to please everyone but we can only do our best to make sure we can still remember the fallen.”
Anyone wishing to order a wreath to be laid at the services should email Alison as soon as possible to guarantee delivery: Saddleworth.ViceChairman@rbl.communityThe Uppermill service on Remembrance Sunday will be live-streamed by Oldham Council so those not there in person can still see the proceedings and pay their respects.
However, there are no plans to livestream from the smaller war memorials, including Austerlands, Dobcross and Waterhead.
In Lees, there will be a small, short, closed service at 11am at the war memorial in the cemetery on Remembrance Sunday but no procession to ensure the events are in line with restrictions from the government.
Given the on-going Covid-19 restrictions, the Parochial Church Council of Holy Trinity Dobcross Church has decided the Remembrance Sunday Service will be pre-recorded and then broadcast on Sunday, November 8 at 10.45am. There will not be a service in church on Remembrance Sunday this year.
Everyone is welcome to join in this service by visiting the Facebook page (@DobcrossChurch) or the website www.cofeinsaddleworth.co.uk
Oldham Council will also mark the occasion by projecting images of falling poppies onto the Civic Centre building throughout the week of Remembrance.
A spokesperson for Oldham Council said: “Currently, all Remembrance Sunday services will operate as ‘closed events’ and will have no attendees. This is in line with the current Government guidance and ‘rule of six’.
“To ensure the public can participate and show their respect, we will be livestreaming a short service from each location via the Council’s social media channels.
“There will be no parade or brass bands etc at any Remembrance Sunday events.
“Each service must have a robust risk assessment and Covid-19 secure risk assessment in place and adhere to current Government advice.”
Meanwhile, the RBL’s Poppy Appeal is also going ahead in an altered format due to current government guidance during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Poppies will be sent to Tesco’s Greenfield to purchase directly from the store between October 22 – November 11.
Churches and a reduced number of outlets across the villages will also have poppies available. School packs will be sent to primary schools as usual.
There is also a limited number of 2020/VE day/ Manchester Bee pin badges available on a first come first served basis – email Saddleworth.ViceChairman@rbl.community