HOUSEHOLDERS across Oxfordshire are marking the 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe Day – without leaving the safety of their homes.

While all public gatherings have been cancelled as part of measures to halt the spread of coronavirus, a series of special events organised by public-spirited people are taking place today.

In Oxford, bagpiper William Smith will play his pipes at the junction of Lathbury Road and Woodstock Road at 3pm as part of a nationwide commemoration of the end of the Second World War.

The idea is that bagpipe players from around the world – in at least 28 countries – will perform 'Battle’s O’er' – a traditional march tune that was specially written to mark VE Day.

Members of the public will be able to share their celebrations – including photographs, memories, bunting decorations, ‘stay at home’ street parties and singalongs – on social media using the hashtag VEDay75Oxford.

Oxford City Council, which has had to cancel planned events, will then share residents’ messages with the wider community using its social media platforms.

Some Abingdon householders will dance to tunes played by a DJ, who is playing music from 4-9pm, and welcome Mini and Micky Mouse actors to entertain the neighbours.

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Residents of Bowyer Road and Geoffrey Barbour Road, in the town, have filled the day with activities for what they call a ‘self-isolation’ VE Day party in their front gardens.

The celebrations are set to finish at around 9pm when many will crowd in front of their TVs to watch the Queen deliver a message to the nation on BBC One.

Pictures from the celebrations will be printed in Saturday’s edition of the Oxford Mail.