Bringing festive spirit to town

There was Christmas cheer in Morpeth on Saturday as hundreds of people celebrated the switching-on of the town centre lights display.

Crowds gathered in the Market Place for some carol singing, which followed a welcome and introduction by Mayor Nic Best.

Switch-on of Morpeth Christmas Lights 2014

Switch-on of Morpeth Christmas Lights 2014

The singing was led by the Star Tenors – Jim McAllister, Jacob Conroy, Roy Beasley and Ron Forster. Morpeth Gadgy Alex Swailes was also on hand to entertain those in attendance.

A Christmas Address by the Rector of Morpeth, Rev Simon White, and the switch-on concluded the programme, organised by the town council.

Victoria Smyth, who won the competition to design the Mayor’s Christmas card (the theme was the Town Hall to mark the building’s 300th anniversary), pushed the button along with Coun Best and the Mayoress, Mrs Joan Howard.

After the lights came on, there was some festive bellringing by the Clock Tower Bellringers.

Morpeth Town Council clerk Gillian Turner said: “The programme went off really brilliantly and there was a great turnout – the crowd numbers seem to get bigger each year.

“Everyone enjoyed taking part in the carol singing and we’re grateful to compere Alex Swailes and the Star Tenors. Once again, it was fantastic that the singing was accompanied by musicians from the Ellington Colliery Band.

“We also have to thank the county council’s street lighting team for their efforts to get the display ready.”

She added that there will be a new display of lights next year because the current one will have reached its seven-year shelf life once Christmas 2014 is over.

As per tradition, the Mistletoe Fair also took place on Saturday in the Town Hall. There were many stalls selling jewellery, food gifts, cards, china gifts and candles among other items and the organisers provided hearty soup, mulled wine and mince pies.

There was a fun attraction for children in the Market Place before the switch-on programme in the form of a kiddies roundabout.