Saddleworth shining bright after Christmas switch-on events

SADDLEWORTH villages are shining with festive cheer after locals gathered for their annual Christmas lights switch-ons.

In Uppermill, the festive fun started with the Santa Dash which saw 1,500 people take to the streets for the event, which is organised bySaddleworth Round Table.

There was a flood of red down the high street as Santas of all ages pulled on their trainers to tackle either the 2km or 5km course through Uppermill and Greenfield.

From young children to running clubs and even the Mayor of Oldham, the event, now in its fourth year, was enjoyed by all.

Pictures by Carl Royle

It was followed by the lights switch-on extravaganza, including Saddleworth Morris Men pulling Santa in his sleigh up the high street to the square.

He was joined by St Chad’s School Choir and Dobcross Youth Band for carols before switching on the lights supplied by Uppermill Lights Committee, finishing with a fireworks finale.

Pictures by Carl Royle

Meanwhile in Lees there were carols around the Christmas tree before Santa switched on the lights, supported by local residents, businesses, PC Mark Clough and OMRT.

And businesses up and down the high street are bringing Christmas cheer with decorative and eye-catching window displays.

An elf hunt is also underway around Springhead, Lees and Grotton to find the cheeky elves hiding in the shop windows.

The competition runs until 4pm on Sunday, December 16 and entry forms are available from local participating businesses with an elf sticker and colouring competition. There are fantastic prizes for the winners.

In Delph, the three trees and village lights are now shining bright after their switch-on which was carried out by Santa and his helper for the evening Winnie the Pooh.

Villagers gathered to sing carols while Delph Youth Band and Delph Band played and led the procession before a fireworks finale.

Homes and businesses along King Street have decorated their windows with eye-catching displays to add to the festive feeling.

At Greenfield, Boarshurst Silver Band led the carols accompanied by pupils from Greenfield and St Mary’s primary schools.

Then the lights were switched on by Greg Barrett, community champion for Tesco in Greenfield, to round off the event, which was organised by Street Scene Greenfield in association with Greenfield and Grasscroft Residents Association.

In Diggle, villagers enjoyed carols at the Band Club with Diggle School Band and Choir before a procession to the Christmas tree.

After more carols and the Christingle service, the lights on the tree were switched on by competition winners Isabella Osman and Ava Johnson.

Pictures by Carl Royle

Elsewhere Santa made another special visit to switch on the lights in Denshaw after entertainment from the band and choir Harmummies, led bymaster of ceremonies Gary Kershaw.

Oddfellows opened its doors to villagers while refreshments were also served outside in a horse trailer adapted for the occasion, and Santa handed out chocolates to the children.

Santa then made a quick trip over to Grotton to switch on the lights there at the tree at the junction of Oldham Road and Grotton Hollow, accompanied by the band and carols.

Residents braved the pouring rain to turn out at Lydgate for the event organised by Love Lydgate and the Rotary Club of Saddleworth.

Local children pressed the giant button to switch on the Christmas tree lights then refreshments were enjoyed in the Parish Hall and Santa himself paid a special visit to greet the children.

Pictures by Carl Royle

In Springhead, there were cheery carols around the tree accompanied by the band then Springhead Infants School choir was in fine voice for their performance.

And Santa led the countdown before switching on the tree lights, and the leading the way to the community centre for refreshments.

Bad weather threatened to disrupt the festive event in Dobcross, with the Dobcross Brass Monkeys cancelled as the rain poured.

However, it cleared up at the last minute and the event went ahead, so local resident and world champion whistler Dave Morris jumped to the rescue with some entertainment.

Pictures thanks to Donna Hutchins

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