PLANS for the annual Remembrance Day service at Austerlands have been cancelled as a result of "rule of six" restrictions.

Organisers announced that the event, which this year falls on Sunday, November 8, will no longer take place amid the Covid-19 guidelines on gatherings.

Explaining the decision Austerlands resident David Needham said: "Given the government guidelines that gatherings are now reduced to groups of six, the steering committee has decided that it is just not practical to conduct a service where social distancing measures can be fully adhered to.

“It is disappointing because last year around 200 people paid tribute at Saddleworth’s (and Oldham’s) oldest war memorial and this time we expected a larger turnout to mark the centenary of the memorial, which was officially unveiled on Saturday, 7th August 1920.

“What we should like to see on the day is a small socially distanced laying of wreaths by the usual organisations and the placing of crosses by individuals. This will help with the promise made long ago... to keep the memory of the fallen, green and unfading forever.”