First festive lights switched on in Seven Kings and Goodmayes
The festive lights in Seven Kings and Goodmayes were switched on yesterday evening.
Crowds gathered at Seven Kings train station and Goodmayes Clock Tower to celebrate the occasion.
The display in Seven Kings features a giant illuminated peace dove on a 10ft pole surrounded by symbols of world religions.
The multi-faith lights were chosen by councillors to celebrate all the religious festivals between now and Twelfth Night, including Eid-Ul-Adha, Diwali, the birthday of Guru Nanak Dev sahib, Christmas and Hanukkah.
Goodmayes Clock Tower, on the corner of Goodmayes Lane and Green Lane, was decorated with extra lights for the season.
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Children from Al-Noor Primary School sang at the ceremony last night and Farnham Green Primary School pupils serenaded the Seven Kings audience with hits from One Direction and other contemporary artists.
Passing drivers showed their appreciation by clapping and beeping their horns.
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Bagpipes were played at the beginning of the event and the crowd worked their way through 100 samosas and mince pies.
Cllr Stuart Belwood pointed out the Seven Kings lights featured seven symbols, including a dove with seven tail feathers that could probably be seen from seven miles away.
He added: “The event has gone magnificently, especially the countdown to the switch-on.”
Cllr Balvinder Saund said councillors had opted for a different approach to festive decorations to incorporate more celebrations.
She added: “Although we like the idea behind a Christmas tree, they cost a lot and with budget cuts we wondered what we could do differently this year.
“It’s nice to celebrate all the different festivals in the community.”
Redbridge Council’s Area Five Committee allocated �11,500 for the lights in Seven Kings and Goodmayes.