Over the course of last weekend the Calder Valley’s towns signalled the start of the festive period when Christmas lights were switched on in Mytholmroyd, Hebden Bridge and Todmorden.
Civic heads in each town did the honours, with Mayor of Hebden Royd Coun Karl Boggis stepping up first at Mytholmroyd late last Friday afternoon before attention switched to St George’s Square on Saturday afternoon for Hebden Bridge’s big event.
Hebden Bridge Junior Band members were also on double duty, playing a selection of Christmas music at both events, and Father Christmas was also on hand to greet children, accompanied at Mytholmroyd by some of his reindeer!
At Hebden Bridge, Calder Valley Voices sang.
At Mytholmroyd, children from the choirs at Cragg Vale School and Burnley Road Academy added to the atmosphere, performing some seasonal music.
Hebden Royd Mayor Coun Karl Boggis said: “They were two events for Hebden Royd to be proud of. To see so many people there on both nights was really nice, in spite of the cold weather. It was a really nice start to the festive season.”
Around half an hour after the Hebden Bridge lights were switched on, it was Mayor of Todmorden Coun Jayne Booth’s turn to throw the switch as Todmorden became a blaze of colour, the town’s lights being those designed over a number of years by local youngsters in competitions run by Todmorden Town Council. This year a different design has also been utilised at Birdcage Walk, which runs in front of St Mary’s Church at the centre of the town.
Todmorden Community Band and Todmorden Choral Society performed carols and seasonal music in the run-up to the switch-on and children were able to meet Father Christmas.
The Mayor also took the opportunity to call in at the town’s Overgate Hospice shop on Halifax Road. The hospice is her charity and collections at the switch-on and afterwards, and a coffee morning earlier, raised £530.
Switch-on events in Mytholmroyd and Hebden Bridge were on the same day as other events - the Reet Royd Do and a Macmillan charity market in Mytholmroyd, and the Kidsfest and Lamplighter Festival in Todmorden, the latter including work resulting from workshops run by the Hebden Bridge-based Handmade Parade and attracting visitors from throughout the valley and further afield.