Families enjoy annual Christmas switch-on at Arcade

Presenters, special guests and representatives, including Morpeth Mayor Andrew Tebbutt, get ready to switch-on the Christmas lights at Sanderson Arcade. Pictures by Trevor Walker.
Presenters, special guests and representatives, including Morpeth Mayor Andrew Tebbutt, get ready to switch-on the Christmas lights at Sanderson Arcade. Pictures by Trevor Walker.
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Hundreds of people enjoyed an afternoon of festive fun as a Morpeth shopping centre unveiled its Christmas lights.

The fun in the Piazza area of Sanderson Arcade on Saturday started at 2.30pm, with radio presenters Justin and Kelly from Heart North East’s Breakfast Show hosting games and competitions throughout the afternoon.

Mr and Mrs Claus were extremely well received in their grotto, which was located in the Terrace area, and at 3pm, more than 35 children from Morpeth All Saints First School sang a selection of festive songs to the crowd.

Their performance was followed by a group from Healthlands Ladies Gym demonstrating a routine to keep fit, keep warm this Christmas.

The 2015 X Factor finalist Kiera Weathers then took to the stage and just before 5pm, the winner of the Wish List competition – which included a £500 shopping spree as well as a BMW car from Stratstone Tyneside for the weekend – was announced as Ben Marlowe.

The presenters, Kiera and David Guy from Stratstone BMW, sponsor of the event, all helped to switch-on the Arcade’s festive lights. A fireworks display happened soon afterwards.

Centre manager Medi Parry said: “We were delighted with the turnout on Saturday and we hope that everyone likes our new Christmas decorations.

“The festive fireworks display was an added extra this year just to add that little bit of Christmas sparkle.

“We are also extremely thankful to Stratstone Tyneside BMW for its on-going support in our events and for being such a fantastic partner.”

The Tree of Light, a Morpeth Rotary Club initiative located in Sanderson Arcade, was also switched on at the same time. Established last year by Past President Rhona Dunn, it is once again giving people the opportunity to sponsor a light in memory of loved ones.

A book is in position beside the tree to list those who have donated and the people they have commemorated.

The proceeds from this year’s activity will go to Contact Morpeth Mental Health, The Alan Shearer Centre, a specialist respite, residential and social facility for people with complex disabilities and acute sensory impairments and the Children’s Heart Unit Fund (CHUF) at the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle.

Those representing the Tree of Light at the switch-on included Lainya Shearer, Patron of the Alan Shearer Foundation, Mrs Dunn and Morpeth Rotary Club President Paul Cook.

Donations need to be sent or handed in to Brumell & Sample Solicitors in Bridge Street.

A Rotary Club member will be next to the tree every day between noon and 2pm, so residents interested in participating this year can find out more information and ask questions.

In addition, an event for the Young People’s Garden of Light will take place on Saturday, December 10.

Children will have the opportunity to plant a light on the garden from 10am to 3pm.

There will also be a range of Christmas-related attractions at the Arcade on this day.