Hundreds enjoy festive lights at the double

Switch-on of Morpeth Christmas Lights 2013
Switch-on of Morpeth Christmas Lights 2013

IT was a case of lights fantastic in Morpeth town centre on Saturday.

The Christmas display was switched on after the traditional activities and about 20 minutes later, Sanderson Arcade turned on its festive lights.

Morpeth Town Council organised the event in the Market Place, which included carol singing in the Market Place led by Morpeth’s own star tenors and the Northumbrian Water Ellington Colliery Band.

Following a Christmas Address by the Rector of Morpeth, Rev Simon White, the fancy-dress winner at Fair Day, Phoenix Todd, helped town Mayor Joan Tebbutt to switch on the lights.

Earlier in the day, residents could get a range of gifts and refreshments at the Mistletoe Fair in the Town Hall. All proceeds collected on the day will go the Mayor’s Charity – Henry Dancer Days.

And children enjoyed the free funfair that was situated in the Market Place.

Council clerk Gillian Turner said: “Everything went to schedule on the day and we were delighted with the excellent turnout for both the switch-on and the Mistletoe Fair.

“The tenors once again entertained the crowds and the colliery band, including some special guests, were superb.

“The lovely colours in the display are a good fit for the town centre and it gives everyone the feel-good factor.”

A beautiful traditional Christmas tree is the centrepiece of the Arcade’s new displays, with decorations along the gallery all finished off with a red bow at both entrances to the centre. A red carpet has also been installed to welcome the centre’s shoppers during the festive season.

The afternoon activities included games and music and there were Jack Sparrow and Marilyn Monroe lookalikes as well as popular children’s characters such as Mickey and Minnie Mouse. Everything was featured on a Capital FM Roadshow, which was hosted by Rob Howard.

The local Christmas Smiles competition winner, Lilly, helped the Mayor and others to switch on the lights and she was given a special Christmas hamper for her family to enjoy.

The centre has also launched its own Charity Christmas Cards, with all proceeds going to the Sick Children’s Trust. They can be bought from the Arcade’s Beadles and at some outlets.

Manager Medi Parry said: “We had a fantastic event on Saturday – the whole town really got in the Christmas spirit and it was great to have one big day for Morpeth with all the lights switched on at the same time.

“We’ve had some really lovely comments about our Christmas display here at Sanderson Arcade and we are really delighted with how our new decorations look.”

At Rutherfords of Morpeth, pupils from Whalton and Longhorsley St Helen’s First Schools launched a Christmas postbox on the ground floor.

Children visiting the Bridge Street store can use it to send their wish-lists to Santa throughout the festive season. A 50-strong choir from Newminster and Chantry Middle Schools entertained shoppers and the store’s co-owners and directors Jane and Richard Rutherford handed out mulled wine and mince pies.