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Hornchurch Christmas lights switched on

PUBLISHED: 16:44 20 November 2017 | UPDATED: 16:44 20 November 2017

Left to right: Tom Lowe, from Queen's Theatre and Hornchurch Traders, panto star Daniella Piper as Amorette, Deputy Mayor Cllr Dilip Patel, James Lawrence as Prince/The Beast and Michelle Mitchell from First Step. Picture: Melissa Page

Left to right: Tom Lowe, from Queen's Theatre and Hornchurch Traders, panto star Daniella Piper as Amorette, Deputy Mayor Cllr Dilip Patel, James Lawrence as Prince/The Beast and Michelle Mitchell from First Step. Picture: Melissa Page

Archant

The countdown to Christmas officially began in Hornchurch at the weekend as the tree was put up and the lights were switched on.

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.”

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