Lantern release among highlights of Barkingside Light Night

David Smith, former president of Barkingside Rotary Club, Eve Conway-Ghazi, vice president of Rotary

David Smith, former president of Barkingside Rotary Club, Eve Conway-Ghazi, vice president of Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland, Ilford North MP Lee Scott, Redbridge Rotarian Joyce Afari, Redbridge Rotary Club president Steven Seager and Mike Wren, assistant governor and Redbridge Rotary Club former president at Barkingside's Light Night. [Picture: Eve Conway-Ghazi] - Credit: Archant

A lantern release was the highlight of an event celebrating the regeneration of Barkingside High Street.

The community came together on Saturday to enjoy Light Night, an attraction marking the culmination of the Better Barkingside scheme.

The £1.9million project has seen the creation of a new pocket park and town square and improvements to the area outside the library and leisure centre.

The announcement of the square’s new name occurred at 3pm and it was revealed that members of the public voted to christen it Ken Aston Square.

Ken Aston, a former Ilford County High School pupil, was a football referee who refereed matches in tournaments such as the World Cup and the FA Cup.

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He was in charge of the referees at the 1966, 1970 and 1974 World Cups and introduced red and yellow cards to the sport.

The other names on the shortlist were Spitfire Square, Squadron Square, Commemoration Square and Harmony Square.

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Light Night, which was held for only the second time, was themed around an adaptation of Little Red Riding Hood.

During the day, visitors enjoyed performances by rock band The Novelty and Redbridge Music Lounge and sampled a range of food and drink from stalls.

Then, at 5pm, the square was lit up by hundreds of colourful lanterns, including some made by schoolchildren.

The event finished at 9pm.

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