Saddleworth villages filled with festive cheer as Christmas tree lights are switched on

BRIGHT LIGHTS and festive cheer spread across Saddleworth as the villages held their annual illuminating lights switch-ons.

In Grotton, locals gathered to sing carols around the tree accompanied by Lees Band, before the switch-on by Father Christmas.

Father Christmas also paid a visit to Lydgate as defiant residents gathered for their switch-on despite vandals chopping three foot off the top of the tree just days before.

The switch-on was followed by sausage butties, songs from St Anne’s Primary School choir and stalls from the Guides at the Parish Hall.

At Springhead, Lees Band led the carols once more and there were songs from the choir from Springhead Infant and Nursery School.

Afterwards residents enjoyed a Christmas Market with stalls and refreshments at Springhead Community Centre.

In Greenfield, Oldham Mountain Rescue Team chairman Matt Torr was guest of honour to switch on the lights at the event organised by Street Scene Greenfield.

Villagers thronged around the tree on Chew Valley Road to sing along with primary school choirs before the switch-on along with Chairman of the Saddleworth Parish Council Neil Allsopp.

In Dobcross, the festivities started with Narnia inspired crafts at Sandy Lane Church followed by the film ‘The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe’.

Then the village came ablaze with Christmas lights in the Square before the DVC’s annual popular Christmas Quiz at the Band Club.

Elsewhere in Delph, Oldham Scottish Pipe Band got the crowd on their feet before parading through the village led by Father Christmas and Delph Brass Band.

Their three trees were switched on by special guest BBC Radio Manchester’s Mike Sweeney, local favourite Gilbert Symes and Emma Shaw before a spectacular fireworks finale.

At Lees, villagers gathered for carols around the tree accompanied by Lees Band before Father Christmas turned on the lights.

A Winter Wonderland filled Uppermill as Saddleworth Round Table hosted their annual extravaganza, including a parade with Father Christmas and Morris Men along the High Street.

Then locals gathered in the Square for carols before Bella Roach, winner of the Table’s Christmas card competition, switched on the lights ahead of a magnificent fireworks finale.

More than 200 residents flocked to the Diggle Christingle Service, which started with carol singing at the Band Club, supported by Diggle B Band and Diggle School Choir.

Then they processed down to their brand new tree on Huddersfield Road, where the lights were switched on by Diggle School pupil Kadence Maguire after a countdown.

The Diggle Primary year 3 pupil won the honour for her competition entry about why she would like to switch on the lights, saying: “We are new to this area and I have never seen a village lights switch-on before or sang any carols.

“I would like to do it because it would be wonderful to see everyone together as friends and be part of making new friends.”

Joint competition winner was Reception pupil Lowe Bennett whose entry said: “I would like to switch on the lights to help bring the magic of Christmas to Diggle.”

‘Light Up Denshaw’ held their event for only the second year as villagers of all ages gathered outside Oddfellows to sing carols and welcome Father Christmas.

And creatures great and small braved the heavy rain to gather for the annual Horseman’s Carol Service at Friezland Arena.

Guests brought along their horses, ponies and even a few dogs as they huddled together in the lashing wind and rain for the service, led by Father Christopher Halliday.

Special guests included MP Debbie Abrahams and Cllrs John McCann and Alan Belmore who gave readings.

Oldham Music Centre Youth Wind Ensemble performed before guests warmed up with mulled wine and mince pies afterwards.


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