Tree-mendous fun

The crowd watch as the tree is switched on at Leyland United Reformed Church
The crowd watch as the tree is switched on at Leyland United Reformed Church

Hundreds of people filled the streets of Leyland on Friday to enjoy festive entertainment and watch a Christmas lights switch-on.

Leyland Christmas, which was a joint effort between South Ribble Council, the Leyland My Neighbourhood Forum and Nigel Stewart, who organised the music festival, helped get people into the festive spirit at the start of the weekend.

School choirs sang Christmas carols and local artists and dance troupes took to a special stage on Hough Lane during the afternoon.

A Christingle service was held at the United Reformed Church and Christmas tree lights were also switched on.

A range of venues including pubs, restaurants and cafes hosted live music from artists and bands in the evening.

Penwortham drummer Nigel Stewart, who organised the Leyland Live element, said: “It was terrific.

“There was a cast of hundreds, including all the school children, and more than 15 volunteers helping out, and I’m really pleased with how it all went.

“There was a lovely atmosphere in Leyland, and the whole event was very well supported.”

He added: “I’d like to specially mention Alex Christy and Ged Wilson, who both stepped in to perform more than they were scheduled to, because one of the artists wasn’t able to attend.

“A group called Groupo SambArifq also performed near the Leyland Cross, and they were a really big hit too.”

Chairman of the Leyland My Neighbourhood Forum, Coun Matthew Tomlinson, said: “There was a really nice atmosphere in town, and lots of families and children turned out to see Santa in the grotto.

“To see so many people out and about was great; it was very busy all afternoon and evening.

“The Leyland Live idea is terrific, and Nigel Stewart should really be congratulated.”

He added: “The Neighbourhood Forum funded the Christmas lights and I was pleased to see that we have more up this time than we did last year. I think it’s something that we can look at improving for next year; the whole Christmas launch event is something which can grow, and become bigger and better each year.

“There is certainly support from the public there already.”

Coun Phil Smith, the council’s cabinet member for regeneration, leisure and healthy communities, said: “Feedback from the event has been very positive.

“A lot of parents took their children on the way home from school, and that’s what Christmas is all about really – families.

“A lot of work and effort went into Leyland Christmas, and it was a huge success.”

- To see more photo from the night, see this week’s Leyland Guardian.