Norden Christmas lights switch on

Date published: 05 December 2017

The Mayor and Mayoress Ian and Christine Duckworth joined close to one thousand people who turned out heedless of the wind and weather for the Norden Christmas lights switch on.

The colourful lights were switched on by local chef, Andrew Nutter, and founder of the GEM Appeal, Karen Johnson, who were both joined by Father Christmas before a surprise firework display.

Children also had the chance to meet Father Christmas in Santa’s Grotto at Millionhair’s – with a few treats for those on the ‘nice’ list. Santa rode through the village on his sleigh in a personal flurry of snow, courtesy of Heywood Rotary Club and Mike Goldrick Curtains and Blinds.

Villagers enjoyed variety of seasonal treats, including traditional mince pies, mulled wine and cider, donated by Councillor Peter Winkler and Streetwise, plus delicacies such as Jerusalem soup, Manchester black peas and gooey festive flapjacks courtesy of Andrew Nutter.

The public were also treated to performances by Fab Dance Centre, a chorus of classic hymns and songs from the choir at Whittaker Moss Primary School, and festive tunes from the Salvation Army Brass Band.

Hosting the event was Revolution Radio’s Dave Sweetmore, and the night was stewarded by Greater Manchester Police cadets.

Festive markets filled the bowling club and a raffle with prizes, including four Christmas hampers that were donated by the Co-op.

Festive treats and free black peas were to be had over at Catherine’s Café, which took part in the event for the first time this year, and hotdogs and burgers from Wildblood’s Butchers.

In keeping in with the celebrations, founding member of NEEVA, Kath Sharp was presented with a trophy by Councillor Michael Holly, naming her as ‘The Queen of NEEVA’.

NEEVA Chairman Paul Ellison said: "As Kath helped found NEEVA 22 years ago during the Christmas season, ‘it seemed like the right place and the right time.

“It was my first time doing the event and I always like for Norden to have these big celebrations. The village has gone from strength to strength and it so was so well attended on such a cold night.

"I would like to thank everyone who helped make the night as magical as it was, the shops, the market traders and everyone who came out.

"A special thank you goes to Andrew Nutter for donating the beautiful fireworks that we all enjoyed, and a thank you for officially declaring Norden ready for Christmas.”

Mr Nutter, who has spent 25 years in the village, said: “It was an honour to be flick the switch alongside Karen Johnson, Dave Sweetmore, and of course, Santa.

"Congratulations to Paul and team NEEVA for an incredible turnout.”

Nigel Morrell said: “It was great to see a well-attended event supported by a large number of villagers and so many young residents who seemed to have a particularly good evening,

“Extensive support of the businesses and companies, the Mayor and media celebrity Andrew Nutter, highlights the message that as we approach the festive season, Norden has a vibrant and diverse heart.

"Many thanks are due to all who staged and participated on this very enjoyable event.”

All funds raised on the night will go to NEEVA for the benefit of Norden.

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