THE Radcliffe community turned out en masse for a nostalgia event to commemorate the centenary since the end of the First World War.

Veterans, civic dignitaries, including the Mayor of Bury, Cllr Jane Black, rotarians and residents joined together for a vintage afternoon tea at Radcliffe Market.

Volunteers dressed in period costume to serve tea to members of the community who gathered to remember the war-fallen.

The event idea was that of Radcliffe-born singer Sarah Dennis, known as the veterans’ sweetheart, who provided live music for the occasion and has recently joined Radcliffe Market Hall Community Benefit Society (CBS) as events director.

Rob Grant, marketing director, said: "There was some good old-fashioned singing going on.

"One of our focuses is building community. This fit the bill completely because we saw members of the community come together to enjoy a wonderful afternoon. It is a wonderful space to use for these kinds of events."

Decorations adorned the Market Hall interior and exterior for the occasion, with a large knitted poppy display.

Radcliffe-based The Woodies — Men in Sheds built a giant poppy for this to be installed upon.

Organiser Colin Harrison said: "We suggested to the team at Radcliffe Market that they have a something different — a large statement piece — that community groups could add to by knitting or crocheting poppies.

"It was a pleasure to be involved and is hopefully the start of future community projects that we can be a part of.

Visitors also enjoyed a lunchtime spread, including finger sandwiches, sausage rolls and quiche, as well as an assortment of cakes.

A total of six older residents from Abbeyfield House in Turks Road, Radcliffe, attended the event on Tuesday.

Home manager Beverley Williams said: "It was wonderful. There was a really good turnout.

"We always try to take our residents to as many of these events as possible. Radcliffe Market has a special place in my heart. It was wonderful to see so many people there.

"Sarah Dennis deserves a medal for putting on this wonderful afternoon. She excelled herself with the singing. It was lovely.

"A lady got one of our residents up dancing next to the tables."

Veteran Peter Powell, aged 89, took a twirl with one of the volunteers who had dressed up as a Red Cross nurse. The ex-serviceman said: "The event was a great way to remember what Radcliffe used to be like."

A book of remembrance has been placed at the Market, naming all of the 629 soldiers who did not return to Radcliffe after the First World War.

Visitors are being asked to sign the book with a message to one of the heroes and to then place that name on a wall of remembrance.

The afternoon tea was the launchpad for a series of weekly gatherings that will now take place, thanks to funding from Ambition for Ageing.

'Cake and Cabaret' vintage events are due to be held at the Market Hall every Thursday between 2pm and 4pm.

The Woodies - Men in Sheds is run from a converted container workshop at Radcliffe Cricket Club, Homer Street. The group meets on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays between 9.30am and 12.30pm.