A SPECIAL service of remembrance took place in Neilston as part of events to mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day.

Although the Covid-19 lockdown meant large gatherings, such as those witnessed in 1945, were not possible, East Renfrewshire residents were still able to honour those who fought for freedom during the Second World War.

Members of Neilston and District Pipe Band performed at the village’s war memorial on Friday morning, observing rules on social distancing rules at all times.

Those who gathered for the event heard prayers, written by the Reverend Maureen Leitch and Father Joe Balmer, read out by Councillor Paul O’Kane.

Matt Drennan, of the Neilston War Memorial Association, also played his part by reading a poem written by an anonymous Neilston resident during the First World War which addressed the importance of peace.

Councillor O’Kane said: “In the morning, at 10.45am, we held a remembrance service at the war memorial in Neilston, as it has the names of local residents who died in the Second World War.

“Usually, we get an amazing turnout to events such as this but, under the current circumstances, we asked people to stay at home and watch the service live on Facebook.

“It was a short service and it tied in with a two-minute silence at 11am. We were also extremely pleased to be joined by Neilston and District Pipe Band.”

Events in Neilston to mark the anniversary of VE Day continued on Friday night as Councillor O’Kane joined residents at the Kirk Glebe sheltered housing complex as part of a national singalong.

Wartime songs such as Dame Vera Lynn’s ‘We’ll Meet Again’ were performed in the Kirk Glebe car park, with residents opening their doors and windows to join in.