BERWICK’S Christmas lights were celebrated at the traditional ceremony on the town hall steps on Saturday afternoon, preceded by the official switch-on of the new Jubilee lamp.
Mayor John Robertson, with the help of children from Tweedmouth West First School, characters from this year’s Maltings pantomime Jack and the Beanstalk, and other guests, sang carols before Canon Alan Hughes blessed the lights, and the town hall tree lights were switched on.
Earlier, the Duchess of Northumberland performed the official opening of the Jubilee lamp on Marygate.
The watching crowd was down on last year, though that is not surprising given the freezing weather and the fact that last year’s switch-on coincided with the Dickensian Market.
The Mayor said: “The festive lights throughout the town centre have improved every year, and we hope that residents and visitors will enjoy them over the next few weeks in the run-up to Christmas.
“Berwick has a great variety of shops, all in an outstanding historic setting, and together with a seasonal programme at The Maltings and a whole range of events organised by voluntary groups – not least this weekend’s Dickensian Market - we hope everyone will make the most of it.
“The town council thanks everyone who has contributed to making the town look its best and most festive, and wishes everyone a good and peaceful Christmas.”
At Berwick Garden Centre, Santa arrived on Saturday morning following a tour of the town on the back of an old London red bus ringing a bell. He was greeted by children singing festive carols before retiring to his grotto - surrounded by polar bears and penguins - to meet and greet younger visitors. He will be at the garden centre every weekend in December.
Christmas lights also went on in Wooler and Belford at the weekend, while the festive lights went up in Seahouses last week.