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The streets of Hainault light up to welcome in Christmas

PUBLISHED: 12:19 01 December 2017 | UPDATED: 12:22 01 December 2017

Manford Way Christmas lights switch on.

Manford Way Christmas lights switch on.

Archant

Redbridge has been lighting up to welcome the arrival of Christmas.

Last week it was the turn of Hainault and Wanstead.

More than 1,000 residents came together to count down to the switching on of Hainault’s Christmas lights.

Mayor of Redbridge Cllr Linda Huggett switched on the lights on Friday, November 24, and carols were sung by pupils of Manford Primary and Coppice Primary, both Manford Way, and John Bramston Primary, Newcastle Avenue, Hainault.

The event was co-ordinated by the Manford Way Community and Business Partnership.

Chairman Tom Gough, dressed as Mr Bumble, said: “It was absolutely fantastic. We were extremely well blessed with decent weather.

“Last year I invited the Lord Lieutenant but it poured down and he couldn’t come.”

Reflecting on his preparation for the day, he added: “One of the parts I enjoy most about the whole thing is rehearsing with the kids singing carols.”

The children also decorated hundreds of small Christmas trees given out by St Paul’s Church and enjoyed free face painting and rides on a carousel.

Actors from the Kenneth More Theatre’s pantomime production of Peter Pan attended, dressed 
in character, and general manager Steven Day hosted a fancy dress competition with nursery school children.

Link Place, a centre supporting people with learning disabilities, also had a stall selling arts and crafts including decorated and mugs and Christmas wreaths.

Half of all proceeds from the stalls, an estimated £1,000, are to be given to Haven House Children’s Hospice in Woodford Green.

The previous day hundreds of families gathered for Wanstead’s lights switch-on.

The festive spectacular was organised by the Wanstead Business Partnership and attended by several councillors, including Redbridge Council leader Jas Athwal and the mayor.

Entertainment was provided by pupils from Wanstead Church School, Church Path, who sang carols, and a special appearance from Santa Claus.

Cllr Athwal told the Recorder: “It was a good, fun family affair.”

The tree was lit up on George Green, a village green which once was part of the grounds of Wanstead House.

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