COMMUNITY celebrations to mark the 75th anniversary of VE (Victory in Europe) Day have been cancelled over coronavirus.

Fordingbridge Town Council and Fordingbridge Events Group had been due to host a free community event with live music on Friday, May 8 on the recreation ground.

A spokesperson said the decision had been made to ensure the community was kept as safe as possible.

A VE Day street party planned in Ringwood has also been cancelled.

Ringwood Events Team and Ringwood Town Council says it has made the decision following guidance from the government on mass gatherings amidst the coronavirus outbreak.

A statement said that months of planning had gone into the event which was to include live music, military vehicles, a remembrance service and parade.

Key organisations across the town were supporting the event including the Royal British Legion, Churches Together, The Furlong, Ringwood Round Table, Ringwood Carnival, Scouts and Girl Guides to name a few.

Deputy town mayor and chair of Ringwood Events Team said, Philip Day, said: “It is with a heavy heart that I have to announce that the Events Team have decided to cancel the event planned for the 8th May. It promised to be a fantastic day bringing the community together again. Given the self-isolation that so many older people now face, it is a real pity that we had to pull the plug. Unfortunately, this is really out of our hands.”

Alternative commemorations on VE Day may still take place but with existing guidance on avoiding gatherings, residents are advised to keep abreast of developments on Ringwood Town Council’s website and social media.

The Events Team team say it is "hopeful that this is a postponement rather than cancellation and may perhaps look at an August event to coincide with VJ Day. However, a decision will be deferred for a few weeks to see how the development of the Coronavirus continues".