Village switch-ons brings Christmas cheer to Saddleworth

SADDLEWORTH is shining bright with Christmas cheer as the villages held lights switch-ons and events to mark the start of the festive season.

In Dobcross, locals gathered in the Square and Dobcross Brass Monkeys provided the music.

Special guest Father Christmas turned on the lights to illuminate the tree and the Square, before people enjoyed the popular annual Christmas Quiz in the Band Club.

Pics: Carl Royle

Million-pound fundraiser Frank Rothwell was joined by dozens of people of all ages for the Christmas lights switch-on in his home village of Greenfield.

Boarshurst Band played while the gathering at Chew Valley Road sang festive carols including We Wish You a Merry Christmas and Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.

Peter Lowe, from Street Scene Greenfield who organised the event, thanked volunteers for their help looking after the community throughout the year.

Then Frank, who recently became the oldest person to row solo across the Atlantic Ocean, led the cheery countdown to switch on the tree lights.

Three trees as well as lights on businesses and homes throughout Delph are shining brightly for Christmas.

Hundreds of locals gathered for the switch-on event, organised by Wake Up Delph Community, which ran throughout the day with more than 20 market stalls in three locations.

Then in the evening, they braved the rain to sing carols and parade up King Street to switch on the trees by The Millgate car park, The Swan and The White Lion.

Father Christmas and Elf on the Shelf switched on the lights and music was provided by Delph Band before the evening ended with a fantastic fireworks display.

A Winter Wonderland came to Uppermill with stalls and entertainment up and down the high street.

Saddleworth Round Table’s Santa Dash saw more than 1,000 participants of all ages tackle the 2.5k or 5k route, starting from Uppermill park and finishing in the Square.

Later on, Father Christmas led the annual parade from the Museum to the Square, with his sleigh pulled by Saddleworth Morris Men.

Hundreds lined the street to join in the carols and see the big switch-on of the tree lights.

Pics: Carl Royle

Christmas arrived in Lees as Father Christmas made a special visit to switch on the tree lights.

There was music from Oldham Band (Lees) before the countdown and the lights were illuminated to mark the official start of the festive season.

There were more lights than expected when Christmas came to Denshaw.

Residents of all ages turned out in force for the switch-on of the village lights, organised by Light Up Denshaw and with special guests Father Christmas and Delph Band.

But shortly after the Christmas tree was illuminated at the fiveways junction, came news of traffic issues on the M62.

That led to a number of heavy goods vehicles diverting through Saddleworth’s highest community.

Road closures in place for the festivities had to be lifted for a time to allow the unexpected traffic visitors to pass through.

Sadly, for onlookers, there was no sign of the Coca-Cola Christmas truck! But there were cheers from villages as they received a friendly toot of recognition from the drivers.

Pics: Carl Royle

The official switch-on event in Diggle was cancelled but locals still marked the occasion and the start of the Christmas period with celebrations at The Gate Inn.

They enjoyed mince pies, music from Diggle Community Brass Band and there were presents from Santa for the children.

Pics: Carl Royle

Three-year-old Freya took centre stage in Lydgate to switch on the Christmas tree lights.

She was joined by residents from the village at the Crossroads of Oldham Road and Platting Road for carols before the tree was lit up.

Pics: Carl Royle

There was an evening of festive music and along with the lights switch-on at Friezland.

Guests filled Christ Church, Friezland for the event, enjoying refreshments, including mulled wine and mince pies, and music from Friezland Brass Band and the Pennine Singers,

And the Christmas lights were officially switched on by Rev Mike Donmall and church wardens Howard Wrigley and John Stevenson.

Springhead’s switch-on was cancelled as they didn’t have the volunteers or time to organise the event this year.

But that didn’t stop the Collins boys and their grandma turning up to the tree at Ashbrook Road to mark the occasion.

Any volunteers who wish to help organise next year’s event should contact Barbara Beeley:
0161 652 0930.

The Collins boys and their grandma (Pic: Carl Royle)

The Christmas lights switch-on in Grotton was cancelled due to the snowy weather conditions.

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