Hornchurch Christmas lights switched on
PUBLISHED: 16:44 20 November 2017 | UPDATED: 16:44 20 November 2017
The countdown to Christmas officially began in Hornchurch at the weekend as the tree was put up and the lights were switched on.
Hornchurch Christmas Cracker 2017
Elizabeth Preston from First Step with Mr Simms proprietors Philip and Julie Allsop. Picture: Melissa Page
Hornchurch & Upminster Rotary Club at the Hornchurch Christmas Cracker event. Picture: Melissa Page
Michelle Mitchell from First Step, Deputy Mayor Cllr Dilip Patel and Tom Lowe, of Queen's Theatre and Hornchurch Traders. Picture: Melissa Page
The Godleman sisters Millie, 10, Lillie-Joy, 13, and Julie-Rose, eight, having their cards stamped at Tiptoes by proprietor Lee Blackledge and Valerie Jopson, a volunteer at First Step. Picture: Melissa Page
Ray Madden and his granddaughter Emily Madden, three, meet Ariel at Final Checks. Picture: Melissa Pge
Queen's Theatre panto stars Daniella Piper as Amorette and James Lawrence as Prince/The Beast. Picture: Melissa Page
Lola Higgs, four, has her face painted by Ariel at the Hornchurch Christmas Cracker event. Picture: Melissa Page
Panto stars join Deputy Mayor Cllr Dilip Patel to switch on the Christmas tree lights in Hornchurch. Picture: Melissa Page
The gloomy drizzle which fell for most of the day put some people off but plenty still turned up for the fun.
Deputy Mayor of Havering, Cllr Dilip Patel officially switched on the lights and told the Recorder: “Saturday’s rain was unable to dampen the Christmas spirit. it was brilliant to see so many families coming to celebrate the festivities.
“Children enjoyed visiting Santa’s grotto, free fairground rides, listening to festive music from Time 107.5 FM, and venturing round the town centre collecting Christmas stamps from local businesses.”
Panto characters from Queen’s Theatre’s Beauty and the Beast also turned up.
The Hornchurch Christmas Cracker is organised each year by the Hornchurch Town Centre Partnership. Chairman Tom Lowe said: “It was a shame about the weather but we had about 200 people turn up to see Santa.
“The Haverettes All Girls Marching Band gave performances through the day and many of the town centre shops took part.”
The partnership is a group of Hornchurch businesses coming together to promote the shopping area and improve footfall in the town centre.
Tom said: “The great thing about Hornchurch is that it has something for everyone. People should definitely do their Christmas shopping here.
“We also have Queen’s Theatre, and plenty of restaurants to choose from.”