It's all systems glow as Christmas lights are switched on
SHOPPERS had their Christmas spirit switched on when the festive lights were illuminated in Grimsby's Abbeygate.
North East Lincolnshire Pipe Band gave a rousing performance to shoppers and boutique owners on Saturday evening to mark the official switch-on of the Christmas lights.
There are more than 10,000 lights decorating the precinct, which is home to up-market boutiques, salons and restaurants.
Managing agent for Abbeygate, Alan Sanders, said: "The turnout for the switch-on has been the best we have ever had. "It has been a nice start to the festive season."
He presented a cheque for £250 to pipe band major John Best, which will be used to recruit some young blood to the band.
Mr Sanders added: "We are pleased to support the band and encourage more young people to join them."
The band played Scotland The Brave, Rowan Tree and Highland Cathedral to entertain shoppers before leading the countdown to the switch on.
Drummer Colin Last said: "My family and I use The Larder cafe a lot and we come here to get a few things from time to time.
"There is always a nice atmosphere and it has been great to be at the switch-on of the Christmas lights with all the family. The lights look good."
He was joined by fellow band member and bagpiper James Beedie, 92, of Brereton Avenue, Cleethorpes.
He is one of the UK's oldest pipers and has played the pipes since he was seven years old.
He said: "My father taught me and I have been playing ever since.
"We are looking forward to a busy season and will be at Grimsby Town Hall to see in the New Year."
The precinct will be open for late-night shopping on Thursday evenings from the first weekend in December. Until then the popular shopping area is open from 9am to 5pm.
Christmas lights were also illuminated on not one, but three festive firs in Cleethorpes, over the weekend.
It is the first time in the resort's history there has been three trees, and members of Cleethorpes In Bloom, along with traders, are confident they will get shoppers, residents and visitors into the Christmas spirit.
The festivities began at Cleethorpes Memorial Hall, Grimsby Road, where the cast of this year's winter panto, Dick Whittington, at the Parkway Cinema, switched on the lights at the base of the 22ft tree.
The celebrations were followed by a procession up Isaac's Hill to St Peter's Church, where a 15ft Norwegian spruce was waiting to shine.
The Mayor of North East Lincolnshire, Councillor Mike Burton, had the honour of turning on the lights before heading to High Cliff, where he illuminated the third tree.
Don't forget to head to Grimsby's town centre on Thursday evening, from 3pm to 9pm, and from 9am to 5pm, on Friday, for Go To Town This Christmas – the town's biggest-ever festive extravaganza.