Reindeers and barn owls entertain visitors at Hainault Christmas lights switch on

Reindeers and the Recorder mascot, Scoopy, brought festive cheer to Hainault town centre on Friday, when the Christmas lights were switched on.

Crowds were encouraged to sing their hearts out in Manford Way, as song sheets were handed out to accompany vocals from Hainault Forest High School, Harbourer Road, Hainault and the Salvation Army choir.

Pantomine characters from the Kenneth More Theatre, Oakfield Road, Ilford warmed up the crowd and got everyone in the holiday spirit.

Live reindeer and tame barn owls proved popular with families, who braved the cold evening to see the lights.

Mince pies and muffins were also handed out to hungry visitors for free, thanks to Greggs and Percy Ingles bakeries.

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Other light switch-ons around the borough include Barkingside’s which will be outside Fullwell Cross Library, High Street at 4.30pm on Thursday. The Wanstead light switch-on will be on November 30 at George Green, The Green

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