Slideshow: Birstall’s Christmas lights switch-on

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The countdown to Christmas began in earnest in Birstall as Christmas lights lit up the village. People gathered in the Market Place on Tuesday to see the switch-on.

Sandra Major, project manager at Batley Food Bank, flicked the switch at 6.30pm.

Daniel Pickles. (d626f449)

Daniel Pickles. (d626f449)

Hilary Wainwright, of Birstall Improvement Group, organised the event.

She said Mrs Major was the perfect example of a local hero who deserved to perform the honour.

“She is Birstall born and bred and a real role model,” said Mrs Wainwright.

The Rotary Club of Birstall Luddites provided a Santa Claus, children enjoyed fairground rides and members of the Mirfield Army Salvation Band performed.

“They were marvellous,” said Mrs Wainwright. “It makes all the difference having carols played.

“This is one of those few opportunities that people have to come together and enjoy the atmosphere at a free, communal activity,” she added.

A sizzling fire sculpture created by Pa-BOOM was also on display. It was paid for by Kirklees Council’s creative scene and the Arts Council.

Smaller trees in brackets were placed outside some of the shops thanks to fundraising by Birstall Chamber of Trade.

Mrs Wainwright also thanked Bonham Electrical Services in Heckmondwike and Green Light Traffic Management in Dewsbury for the necessary signage.

Ikea provided the Christmas tree.