• Joe

Community gathers for Moorland Road Christmas lights switch on

It's a big occasion for the Oldfield Park community. The annual Christmas lights switch on at Moorland Road draws a crowd of hundreds. And the looks of anticipation on the faces of children and adults, as they await the lighting up of the illuminations above the shops, tell you that this event matters.

The Moorland Road switch on has evolved into quite a festival, put on by the community for the community, with residents and local businesses crowdfunding to pay for it. This year's event took place on the 24th of November and was preceded by a special visit from Santa. Half the street was closed off to traffic and a big queue of parents and children lined up to collect presents from the white-bearded gentleman in his sleigh. Familiar Christmas tunes played through the loudspeakers.

Across the street was Stokes fruit and veg stall with Egyptian owner Emad serving at the counter. Emad said: "Christmas is for everyone, for me and for you."

The actual Christmas lights switch on took place some hours later at 4.30pm, as dusk began to fall.

Sprint athlete Jason Gardener had been invited to come and press the giant switch on button. Also present were the Mayor and Mayoress of Bath, Patrick and Deirdre Anketell-Jones.

With the turning on of the lights, the vibrant rhythms of a samba band called Jamma de Samba

resonated down the street.

Councillor Will Sandry wanted to thank Jordan Liddle of BW–Tech for all his work putting up the outdoor street decorations.

The Mayor and Mayoress talked to our reporter about the significance of community effort making this event happen. It had been the only switch on in Bath. One lady had come over from Bristol as there was no similar event in her own neighbourhood.

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