First there was a hitch – it was a glitch – and finally the switch. Whaley Bridge’s Christmas tree, in the Jodrell car park, was lit up a few minutes late on Friday night (2December). It will be providing colour and Christmas cheer, as well as welcoming shoppers and visitors, until Twelfth Night in January.
Town council cuncil chairman Jon Goldfinch welcoming the big crowd – many of them young children – asked for the countdown – 10, 9, 8 to zero. The tree stayed unlit! Another countdown, still no lights!
The Rev Michael Peat from the Uniting Church kept the carols going, with the Christmas story narrative between the singing. Whaley Bridge Band, in fine form, kept playing. The glitch solvers worked swiftly. Councillor Jon called the third countdown. Louder voices – 10, 9, 8… zero! This time success.
It was a memorable Christmas switch-on. Santa arrived to bring excitement and a present for scores of children. His grotto in Footsteps provided a magical moment for many mums and dads, as their little one shyly chatted to Santa.
On the streets, Whaley-based morris dance team Powderkegs strutted their stuff and in the Mechanics’ Institute, the Christmas market was crowded.
A tombola table, raising money for Whaley Bridge band, cleared more than 90 bottles in no time. Merry Christmas, Whaley Bridge.