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Watch Mayor of Havering celebrate 'community spirit' as he turns on Upminster Christmas lights

PUBLISHED: 19:02 22 November 2018 | UPDATED: 19:06 22 November 2018

Havering mayor Cllr Dilip Patel switched on the Upminster Christmas Lights at a special event on Thursday, November 22. Photo: Matt Clemenson

Havering mayor Cllr Dilip Patel switched on the Upminster Christmas Lights at a special event on Thursday, November 22. Photo: Matt Clemenson

Archant

There was festive cheer aplenty on the streets of Upminster this evening (Thursday, Novemebr 22) as the Mayor of Havering came to turn on the town's Christmas lights.

At just before 5.15pm, Cllr Dilip Patel took great pleasure in pressing the plunger and lighting up the Christmas tree at the junction of Station Road, St Mary’s Lane and Corbets Tey.

The nearby Upminster Junior School hosted a small fairground with a number of rides in its playground, and there was entertainment from a festive choir, a young dance troupe and even a princess or two who delighted youngsters with renditions of hits from the Disney film Frozen.

Children were also encouraged to go on an “elf hunt” which would see them visit as many stalls along the high street as possible, collecting stamps on a specially printed sheet for every elf they could find hidden away.

Speaking to the Recorder just before he lit up the tree, Cllr Patel said: “It’s an honour to be here this evening.

Havering mayor Cllr Dilip Patel switched on the Upminster Christmas Lights at a special event on Thursday, November 22. Photo: Matt ClemensonHavering mayor Cllr Dilip Patel switched on the Upminster Christmas Lights at a special event on Thursday, November 22. Photo: Matt Clemenson

“I’ve never been to the Upminster lights switch on before and I have to say it’s very impressive how the organisers have managed to involve everyone.

“There’s a real community spirit in the air and it’s great to be a part of.

“Everyone I’ve spoken to here this evening has been very happy, and I wish all the people of Upminster the very happiest of Christmases.”

Elizabeth Steadway, 65, of Argyle Gardens, said: “I always try and come out for this event tonight, it’s great to see so many people, young and old, all coming together to get in the Christmas spirit.

Havering mayor Cllr Dilip Patel switched on the Upminster Christmas Lights at a special event on Thursday, November 22. Photo: Matt ClemensonHavering mayor Cllr Dilip Patel switched on the Upminster Christmas Lights at a special event on Thursday, November 22. Photo: Matt Clemenson

“I wouldn’t miss it for the world, it’s what Christmas is all about really.”

Michael Sammons, who has lived in Upminster for three years, added: “It’s my first time actually coming to this, I picked my daughter up from school and it’s all she’s been talking about all week.

“It’s great to see Christmas still means something - when you grow up you can forget why you used to love it, but stuff like this helps remind you.”

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